EMU leaps into action to win 2005 Healthy Workplace Award
YPSILANTI - "Healthy Choice" may be a brand name in the frozen food section of the grocery store, but at Eastern Michigan University, it's a fresh, new lifestyle option. Many employees are embracing healthier lifestyles and participating in programs that encourage more walking, less smoking and better dietary decisions.
Those efforts have earned EMU a 2005 Healthy Workplace Award (gold) from the Washtenaw County Public Health Department.
EMU is one of only five local businesses or organizations that will receive a plaque April 6, during the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting at the Washtenaw County administrative building, 220 N. Main, in Ann Arbor.
"This award recognizes that the well-being of our employees is paramount to the successful operation of the U niversity and that a commitment to wellness is a commitment to the de velopment of our workforce," said Ellen Gold, director of EMU's University Health Services. " Although there is much more to be done, receiving this reward reinforces that we are taking positive steps in supporting our employees to improve their health and we are appreciative of the recognition."
This second annual award, to be presented as part of National Public Health Week, April 4-8, recognizes employers who have shown a commitment to their employees' health, well-being and quality of life by implementing health promotion and wellness programs at the worksite.
Throughout last year, EMU encouraged wellness in various campus communications, through the Employee Wellness Committee and in campus-wide programs such as the Wellness Walkers, The Great Smoke-Out, Weight Watchers and the Ergonomics Fair.
Judges from the Washtenaw County Public Health Department evaluated the applications on various criteria including workplace strategies, initiatives, communications, environment, organizational strategy and program evaluation.
"We always strive to make the campus a healthier place. We applied this year for the first time and jumped to the gold level. Next year, we'll go for the platinum," said Eric Ward, a wellness coordinator at EMU's Snow Health Center.
The platinum winners met at least six categories and emphasized collecting data and evaluating the impact of the health initiatives on the bottom line. Gold winners fulfilled a minimum of five categories while silver awardees satisfied at least four areas.
The other four area awardees are: MFit Health Promotion Division, University of Michigan Health System (platinum), Nu-Step, Inc. (gold), Generations Together and the American Cancer Society Huron Valley Service Center (silver).
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.