OSU Institute of Technology was recognized for its continuing commitment to health and wellness when it was named an Excellence Level Certified Healthy Campus, Healthy Business and Healthy Early Childhood Center.
The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program is a statewide certification from the Oklahoma Department of Health that recognizes organizations and communities that foster environments that support healthy choices.
To qualify, the organization must challenge people to eat better, move more and be tobacco free, as well as implement policies to create healthy environments.
OSUIT has participated in the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program since 2009. This was the first year OSUIT was ranked in the Excellence Level as both a Healthy Campus and a Healthy Business.
“I was very proud to learn that OSUIT had been recognized as an Excellence Level institution,” said James Byrd, director of the Student Union and Auxiliary Services. “For many years now, OSUIT has led the way in taking steps to make the campus community a better and healthy place for our students, faculty and staff.”
The OSU system received 35 healthy certifications across its five campuses.
OSU’s Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Suzy Harrington said these latest certifications verify that all campuses are on the right track and doing the right thing.
“OSU is empowering its employees, students and community members to live a healthy lifestyle by implementing a culture of wellness throughout the entire university system,” Harrington said.
One of the major steps in OSUIT becoming a healthier place was becoming a tobacco free campus in 2010, Byrd said.
In addition, the university is committed to empowering its faculty, staff and students to make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce health risks and improve their overall quality of life through assessment, education, goal setting, and referrals.
“The campus has always provided wellness opportunities to its faculty, staff and students through our Office of Student Life, Campus Health Services and Campus Dining Services,” he said. “OSUIT has made a point to have indoor and outdoor recreational and fitness facilities available for faculty, staff and students throughout the year as well as educational and fitness programs.”
Throughout the year, a multitude of health screenings and workshops are offered on campus as well including cholesterol testing; blood pressure and heart rate monitoring; BMI testing; tobacco cessation workshop; and health risk appraisal.
“Campus Dining Services offers healthy food choices seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we’re currently working with Campus Vending Services to require healthy food and beverage options in vending machines throughout campus,” Byrd said.
This was the first year early childhood centers could earn healthy certifications, and OSUIT’s Child Care Center was one of four centers recognized this inaugural year.
“I was very proud and felt that this honor for the OSUIT Child Care Center was well deserved,” Byrd said. “I personally believe that we have one of the best child care centers in the state of Oklahoma right here on the OSUIT campus.”