|Submission Date||Feb. 13, 2016|
University of Louisville
PA-11: Wellness Program
[former] Wellness Manager
Get Healthy Now
Does the institution make counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all members of the following groups?:
|Yes or No|
A brief description of the institution’s wellness and/or employee assistance program(s):
The University of Louisville supports the well-being of the campus community in multiple sustainable ways; this includes policies, programs, services and environmental aspects such as building design and highly efficient energy management systems. UofL’s wellness and sustainability efforts have been in place for some time, but in the last eight years we have taken a more coordinated and strategic approach by bringing together multiple stakeholders and units to work together to achieve our healthy campus goals. Greater emphasis on this work was propelled forward due to higher ed. budget cuts.
In 2008, as the U.S. economy stagnated, the state of Kentucky severely curtailed the amount of funding and financial assistance it provided to all state-based universities. To counteract this budget cut, UofL administrators asked employees for ideas about how to decrease operating expenses and increase revenues across the university. One suggestion that was supported by upper leadership was an increased focus on operational sustainability. A sustainability committee was created to head-up research into how UofL could decrease operating expenses by investing in energy and water conservation. Actions by the sustainability committee were well-supported by management and heavily promoted among the campus faculty and staff. Passive energy and water saving devices were installed in residence halls and office buildings. And, a “green” dorm room and a “green” office were constructed to raise awareness of the sustainability committee’s progress and effort.
UofL’s healthy campus efforts are highly coordinated through various committee groups and university units (Intramural, Athletics, etc.) that work together to achieve common goals. The Office of Health Promotion (student focus), Get Healthy Now (employee focus) and various committees (21st Century Initiative, Great Places to Work, Sustainability, Dining & Vending Services, Smoke-Free etc.) collaborate with multiple units and stakeholders within the campus community to cross-promote the policies, programs and vast services/resources that support the well-being of our campus community.
Employees who have health insurance coverage through UofL and participate in Get Healthy Now receive a $40 per month reduction on the cost of that insurance. Employees' spouses or qualifying adults who are on the employees' health coverage also can participate in Get Healthy Now. Employees who waive health coverage through UofL can also participate in Get Healthy Now.
Participants have access to:
• Online Health Risk Assessment (required for participation)
• Telephone/e-mail health coaching (required if assessment indicates medium to high risks)
• Online resources through Health Fitness Corp.
• Campus wellness classes
• Group activity classes
• Campus fitness facility dedicated to employees
• Campus wellness coaches
• Campus biometric health fitness assessments
• Information about community activities and resources
Based on the positive employee reaction to the sustainability efforts on campus, the Director of UofL’s employee wellness program, Get Healthy Now (GHN), began to investigate the idea that some individuals might participate in healthy behavior based on perceived environmental impact rather than personal health benefit. Out of this insight, GHN staff in collaboration with the sustainability committee, developed and successfully pitched a plan to the UofL Provost for establishing a pilot worksite health promotion program that was marketed and promoted to environmentally-conscious individuals as a program that would allow them to enact and be recognized for healthy behavior that positively impacts the environment. The pilot health program, titled Green Health Initiative (GHI), specifically sought to engage employees involved in sustainability activism and “green” activity around campus. Over 200 employees participated in the pilot program designed to nudge people to improve their health by using broader social values of improving the sustainability of the community to motivate behavior changes. The goal was to encourage participation in traditional (physical activity, nutrition, & stress) and non-traditional (community sponsored agriculture, reducing carbon footprint) wellness activities—by joining with other employees to work within programs to improve the sustainability of the campus. We learned that sustainability is a powerful incentive to social action. Plans are well underway to integrate the Green Health Initiative into the current employee wellness program, Get Healthy Now.
The website URL where information about the institution's wellness program(s) is available:
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