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Makenna Hittner (left) and other students take a yoga class in the fitness center at OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa.
Makenna Hittner (left) and other students take a yoga class in the fitness center at OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa.

OSU-CHS recognized as Certified Healthy Campus, Business for seventh straight year

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Media Contact: Sara Plummer | Communications Coordinator | 918-561-1282 |

Whether it’s attending a group fitness class, taking a walk around campus, spending some time unwinding in the Reboot Center or talking about an issue with a licensed counselor, OSU Center for Health Sciences offers many opportunities for students, faculty and staff to take care of their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

It’s why since 2017, OSU-CHS has been recognized as a Certified Healthy Campus and OSU Medicine clinics as a Certified Healthy Business. And since 2020, when the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation opened, it has also been recognized as a Certified Healthy Campus.

OSU-CHS Health and Wellness Manager Jesse Chaffin said the repeated recognition wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of the Department of Wellness team.

“Last year alone our coordinators hosted more than 60 different educational workshops dedicated to enhancing the health and wellbeing of our students, staff, faculty and residents,” Chaffin said. 

Focusing on health and wellness is beneficial to not only the OSU-CHS community, but to the institution as well because it improves student success, productivity, campus and workplace culture, retention, morale and efficiency.

“The culture of higher education is filled with high achievers who spend countless hours in the lab doing research, studying in carrels, working on projects behind a desk or serving patients in our clinics. Self-care becomes an afterthought,” he said. “Our job as a Department of Wellness is to increase opportunities for healthy behaviors by allowing our students and employees access to health education, recreational sports, fitness challenges and programs and services that support mental health.”

Over the years, Department of Wellness staff have developed programs to best meet the needs of students and employees — including how to identify those needs.

Chaffin said a pivotal change was the integration of data-driven programming. Each year the department conducts student, faculty and staff surveys and research to identify common health behaviors, habits and perceptions that serve as a compass to programming efforts.

That data led to the implementation of Headstrong Mental Toughness Training for students and the Mind Over Matter program for employees, both focused on resiliency training.

The Wellness Innovators program was developed so staff and faculty volunteers could be trained on how to influence positive health and wellness change within their own departments.

“Encouraging healthy lifestyles while at work where we spend most of our time benefits OSU’s employees, students and communities,” Chaffin said. “Innovators provide tools, resources and peer support necessary to facilitate healthy lifestyle choices among their colleagues.”

Chaffin said the OSU-CHS community is fortunate to learn and work at an institution that values health and wellness and offers so many opportunities to elevate health.

“My advice would be to find out your ‘why.’ Answer the question ‘Why should I live a healthier life?’ Is it so you can have more energy throughout the day? Is it so you can get on the floor and play with your grandkids? Maybe it’s so you can navigate stress a little better than yesterday,” he said. “Whatever your reason, harness it and allow it to motivate your choices throughout the day.”

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