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Western Illinois University employees take part in a Western Walks-a-Thon at Hanson Field. Learn more about employee wellness at Western at wiu.edu/vpas/wellness/.
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Team Leatherneck—WIU employees who participated in Western's Leathernecks in Training program. The program helps employees who want to set a goal, train and achieve the goal and offers a run/walk training program and team support.
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WIU Earns Silver Level "Illinois Healthy Worksite" Designation

August 13, 2014


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MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University is one of 32 institutions and organizations from across Illinois that have recently been designated as "Illinois Healthy Worksites."

Based on the University's worksite health promotion efforts, WIU has achieved silver level recognition in the newly established program, which is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), in conjunction with Get Fit Illinois—Governor's Council on Health and Physical Fitness, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition. It was created as part of the statewide "We Choose Health" community transformation grant that is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administered by the IDPH.

"We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts to promote health and wellness at Western Illinois University. Through the diligent efforts of the members of the Employee Wellness committee, Western offers a wide variety of programs and services to University faculty and staff, including such events and programs as the Western Walks-a-Thon, Leathernecks in Training, Go Red for Women's Health, an employee wellness day, regular health screenings, Rocky Bikes and more," said Vice President of Administrative Services Julie DeWees. "We recognize employee health and wellness as important to the long-term success and well-being of Western Illinois University as a whole."

In the award letter, IDPH Chief of Health Policy Leticia Reyes-Nash noted the award "reflects a commitment to the health of employees and is example to employers throughout Illinois of what can be done to encourage healthy behaviors at work."

According to IDPH, 63 organizations participated in the initial recognition round, and UIC's kinesiology and nutrition department conducted the rigorous evaluation process. Evaluators found that 32 Illinois employers' submissions qualified to receive an award, based on gold, silver and bronze recognition levels, including six gold awards, 11 silver awards and 15 bronze awards.

The Illinois Healthy Worksite designation is a three-year award and requires the applying institution or organization to satisfy criteria that are recognized best practices in creating a worksite culture of health. The criteria includes:

  • actively promoting and supporting healthy nutrition at work;
  • providing and encouraging opportunities for physical activity at work;
  • developing a 12-month health and wellness calendar and an ongoing communications plan to promote employee health and well-being throughout the year;
  • demonstrating a commitment to employee health and well-being by making it part of the organization's mission statement, goals and operations; and
  • developing lifestyle and disease management strategies and measuring their success annually.

To learn more about WIU's Employee Wellness committee and its efforts, visit wiu.edu/vpas/wellness.

For more information, contact Judy Yeast, associate director of Campus Recreation and Employee Wellness committee chair, at (309) 298-1670 or via email at JA-Yeast@wiu.edu.

Learn more about the Illinois Healthy Worksite designation at wechoosehealth365.com.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (WIUNews@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations