UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

April 13, 2012
Susan Banovetz | Director of External Affairs | 218 726-6141|
Christiana Kapsner | UMD Public Relations Assistant | 218 726-8830 |

2012 Platinum Award for Fit-Friendly Company

The UMD Employee Wellness Program was awarded the American Heart Association Platinum Award for Fit Friendly Company in 2012. This award recognizes that UMD has set a high standard as a healthy campus community with concern for the health of the staff, and continued progression and success with implementing a system that focuses on good health.

"We are honored and excited about this award," said Lita Wallace, Wellness Coordinator of the Department of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity. "It was a rigorous process. The application was lengthy, and the unique requirements for the different levels of recognition were very specific. I am proud of our UMD wellness team, our staff and our leaders who have made this award a campus-wide success."

Throughout the UMD campus, there are numerous walking trails, fitness opportunities, and a variety of options for faculty and staff to participate in a healthier lifestyle. UMD was the first smoke-free campus in Minnesota in 2007; the application process for the platinum award included that the employer has established a smoking-free policy.

The UMD Wellness Program has also incorporated a free, tobacco cessation program for employees. There are classes on general nutrition education, healthy eating, stress management, financial health, parenting, healthy cooking demos and disease management with weekly wellness workshops. The Wellness Program encourages staff and faculty with medical insurance through the University to partake in free annual health risk assessments.

The criteria to qualify for the national fitness award verified that the company has wellness programs, newsletters, and tracking tools to motivate employees. These programs encourage productivity and reduce potential healthcare costs.

"The application process included a thorough review of the submitted paperwork," said Rachel Gilbertson, UMD wellness coach of the Department of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity. "The programs, and the initiatives that are already in place, were a critical reason why we have been selected as a fit company."

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