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Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University certified as healthy campus and business

Friday, February 7, 2014

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health has recognized Oklahoma State University as both a Certified Healthy Campus and a Certified Healthy Business.  

“Earning both of these awards at the highest levels is just one more indication that we truly ARE America's healthiest campus, leading in promoting health and well-being for our employees, students, and community,” said Dr. Suzy Harrington, OSU’s chief wellness officer.

Few universities attain both Certified Healthy Campus and Certified Healthy Business status. OSU achieved the excellence level, the highest certification in both categories.

“Oklahoma State University is so proud to be recognized in both the Certified Healthy Campus and the Certified Healthy Business categories,” said Dr. Lee Bird, vice president for student affairs. “Receiving these designations at the top level, the ‘excellence’ category, makes it abundantly clear that OSU is dedicated to creating the healthiest campus possible for students, faculty and staff. Congratulations to everyone who contributes to wellness every week at Oklahoma State for bringing these honors home.”

While this is the third straight year that OSU has been awarded the Certified Healthy Campus award, it is the first year that the university has won both the Certified Healthy Campus and the Certified Healthy Business awards.

The Certified Healthy Campus award recognizes efforts aimed at all members of the OSU campus community. The Certified Healthy Business award recognizes OSU’s efforts in creating a better work environment for its employees, including the many resources available to take care of their health. Better health of employees means lower health care costs, less sick leave and more efficient, energized employees.

“The Certified Healthy Business award proves that OSU has a work environment mindset that encourages employees to choose healthier options, increasing their efficiency, attitudes, energy levels and overall wellness,” said Mary Talley, employee wellness program manager within the Department of Wellness.

Both awards will be presented at an awards luncheon at the Embassy Suites Norman Hotel and Conference Center on Feb. 13. Staff members from the Department of Wellness and Human Resources, Harrington and OSU faculty members will represent OSU at the event. Last year, more than 900 people attended the state Department of Health’s luncheon, representing healthy restaurants, schools, communities, business and campuses.

OSU First Lady Ann Hargis has played a major role in encouraging the OSU community to live healthier lifestyles and make OSU America’s healthiest campus.

“I am thrilled OSU has been recognized by the state of Oklahoma as both a Certified Healthy Campus and a Certified Healthy Business,” Hargis said. “Such a distinction will enhance the credibility of our wellness programs as we move toward our goal of becoming America's healthiest campus.  I couldn't be more proud of our efforts to create a culture of wellness. It is truly a wonderful time to be wearing America's brightest orange.”

As OSU strives for its students and employees to live healthier lifestyles and increase their overall wellness, it offers them many resources. In July 2008, OSU became the first university in the Big 12 to become a tobacco-free campus. Both the Colvin Recreation Center and the Seretean Wellness Center, including all of their resources, are available to students and benefits-eligible employees. There are more than 160 group fitness classes scheduled each week. Personal training and fitness services are available to students and employees, and the Reboot Center in the Student Union offers OSU members the opportunity to rejuvenate their minds. The campus offers numerous nutrition programs and healthy dining options.

Human Resources offers employees resources to develop the mental areas of wellness. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps employees and their families manage personal issues. EAP also addresses employee and organizational challenges to create a more harmonious working environment.

“Receiving the dual award is a great honor and celebration of our deliberate efforts to build wellness into everything at OSU,” said Assistant Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Jamie Payne. “In our quest to become America’s healthiest campus, we are building wellness into the process, infrastructure and culture by focusing on all dimensions of physical and mental well-being.”

Oklahoma State University is committed to creating a healthy campus culture for students, faculty and staff. OSU encourages healthy lifestyles and lifelong learning through the highest quality wellness programs, benefits and services. For more information about the Certified Healthy Campus and Certified Healthy Business award, contact Mary Talley at 405-744-6907 or

View videos about various wellness programs at OSU:

Wellness Center:


Inside edition with President and Mrs. Hargis:

Chief Wellness Officer, Suzy Harrington:

B.A.L.A.N.C.E. Program:

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