The Wellness Councils of America just named the University of Southern Maine a “Gold Well Workplace.” Sounds great, right— but what does this designation actually mean?
Basically, that USM is one of the country’s healthiest places to work, with a top-notch, 5-year-old employee wellness program that has broad CEO support, uses data to drive health efforts and chooses the most appropriate health promotion interventions, among other pluses.
According to a press release, “The USM program also was cited for its holistic approach that addresses physical as well as mental and behavioral issues.”
Indeed, Southern Maine’s unique program includes a range of activities, from walking programs, smoking cessation services and a weekly farmer’s market to a top-notch wellness website. Some 3,000 people participate.
“The members of a university’s faculty and staff are its most valuable assets,” said USM President Selma Botman. “The managers and participants of this program should take great pride in creating a healthier workplace environment.”
But the hard work’s not done yet, added wellness program manager Suzanne Roy. “Our goal is to reach even more employees, family members and retirees, and connect them with programs and resources that support a healthy lifestyle.”
In other higher ed wellness news, Purdue University is also having great success with a model walking program that gets employees from janitors to professors out of their work spaces and strolling around campus for 30 minutes or so daily. In addition to walking their way to better health, participating employees also earn credit for the university's wellness program.