The VSU Wellness Committee promotes and supports an increased awareness and practice of a healthy lifestyle by offering a variety of educational activities and programs that address the social, intellectual, occupational, spiritual, physical and emotional wellness of the university's faculty, staff and student population.
- To increase awareness of the holistic health model and the connections between one's physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, occupational and social (environmental) dimensions.
- To educate and motivate the VSU community by creating and supporting a variety of activities that promotes a healthy lifestyle.
- To develop Partnerships throughout the university community to cultivate Wellness programs.
- To implement the seven step process of the Wellness Councils of America for establishing a Well Workplace.
- Capture senior level support
- Create a cohesive wellness team
- Collect data to drive program efforts
- Craft an operating plan
- Choose appropriate intervention
- Create a supportive environment
- Evaluate outcomes
The concept of wellness and trying to build a foundation to live a healthier life is not new to any of us. However, in the past 15 years bringing the components of wellness together in an organized effort is new. The Wellness Councils of America is a national organization whose focus is building Well Workplaces-organizations that are dedicated to the health of their employees. VSU is one of many participating organizations in the Lowndes County Partnership for Health Well Workplace Initiative. Our wellness committee is utilizing the seven step process outlined by the Wellness Councils of America to help VSU achieve Well Workplace Status.
Campus Wellness History
The wave for a coordinated effort of Wellness in the university community began to build in Fall 2002. Faculty from nursing, nutrition, psychology, counseling and social work began to meet regularly to discuss their ideas about campus wellness. Dr. Lynn Bell, Associate Professor of Nursing, brought these individuals together. A committee began to grow to include faculty and staff from throughout campus with wellness interests. In the first meetings nutrition, drumming, tai' chi, meditation, student wellness, spirituality, sexuality, and faculty and staff support were explored as ways to create an environment that supports wellness at Valdosta State University.
We were energized to see that so many people on campus were interested in holistic wellness. It was exciting to see so many of us could bring their rich knowledge and skills not only to this committee but also to the campus as a whole. In Fall 2003 the committee officially became a part of the VSU HUB Learning Cooperative by establishing a HUB*CAP. Ms. Faye Altman, Counselor- VSU Counseling Center, connected the Wellness Committee with the Lowndes County Partnership for Health Well Workplace Initiative and with senior level administrative support from Valdosta State University. We began the steps to become a Well workplace utilizing the Well Workplace model developed by the Wellness Councils of America. This model uses the health risk appraisal as a data collection tool to drive programming efforts. In Spring 2005 the committee continued to collect data through the Health Risk Appraisal and sought ways to increase faculty/staff participation in the survey.
- Presented "Women Only" Wellness Seminar Series
- Diet (Lynn Bell)
- Self Esteem (Faye Altman)
- Sexuality (Donna Nolan)
- Committee Meetings: brainstormed, defined goals, developed wellness model, and submitted plan to HUB Learning Cooperative as a HUB*CAP
- Booth at Diversity Week: "Diverse Approaches to Wellness"
- Discussed the possibility of offering a Wellness Perspectives Course
- Women's Support Group (W.I.T: "Women in Touch")- four meetings were facilitated by Faye Altman that focused on empowerment of group members through education, social and emotional support
- Met with Ms. Mary Watson - grant and funding search
- Presented Wellness Model at V.S.U. Women's Conference
- Coordinated efforts with the Student Recreation Center
- Joined with the Lowndes County Partnership for Health
- Met with Dr. Keppler to discuss the committee goals
- Health Fair bringing together the region and VSU community
- Walk/Run as kick-off
- Continue to network with various campus organizations, such as Greeks, Environmental Committee, and religious organizations
- The committee became a member of the HUB Learning Cooperative
- Representative met with Dr. Zaccari to discuss committee goals and seek his support
- Met with an expanded wellness committee to continue our pursuit of the "well workplace" title
- Election of a committee chairperson and secretary
- Creation of sub-committees
- Data collection
- Dr. Zaccari endorsed this initiative
- Health Risk Appraisals were completed by VSU employees
- Counseling Center
- Student Health Center
- College of Nursing
- Plant Operations
- Health Risk Appraisal became available online
- Members of Student Affairs began to take the survey online
- New committee chair was elected