OSU Institute of Technology received a record number of Certified Healthy Department certificates for 2019 with six departments on campus receiving the achievement.
By receiving the CHD rating, a department has been recognized as providing a healthy environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors, thereby supporting the culture for an overall healthy campus and surrounding community.
All Certified Healthy Departments receive a window cling and certificate to display and also have their name listed amongst the winners on the OSU Stillwater Wellness website.
“As healthy employees, we are happier, more engaged, resilient, confident and successful,” said Kim Beard, assistant director of Employee Wellness at OSU Stillwater. “We are better prepared, both physically and mentally, to achieve our personal and professional goals. We also understand that individual health and wellness is difficult to achieve alone.”
The amount of department participation has grown in the past four years from one department to six.
“In 2016 and 2017, we have a record of only one department to receive the award,” said Sam Nguyen, sports and wellness coordinator at OSUIT. “In 2018 we had four and this year we received six and a 100 percent passing rate for those departments who applied for the certification.”
Sable Vasquez, special event and retention coordinator at OSUIT, said this is Prospective Student Services fifth consecutive year to have received this recognition. They have applied each year since 2015, the first year it was open to all campuses in the OSU/A&M system.
Certified Healthy Department was created in 2011 to recognize work groups at OSU Stillwater and align with Oklahoma’s “Certified Healthy” program. It was expanded to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Offices in 2014, and to the OSU/A&M system in 2015.
Prospective Student Services focuses on mental health for their department. “Our department spends a lot of time in the Pistol Pete Prius. It’s easy to get burnt out when you are constantly on the road,” said Vasquez. “We encourage taking breaks and taking a few days off after a weeklong trip visiting many high schools. We need to pause and refresh to jump back in again, and it’s encouraged with support from our leadership to check our mental health and do what is best for us and the university.”
Vasquez says it’s important to encourage healthy lifestyles in the workplace because it’s where a large majority of time is spent. “When we are physically and mentally fit, we are happier, more confident and more engaged. It helps us to better serve our students, and isn’t that why we are all here?”