Joining national network advances health promotion, prevention strategies
Grand Valley has joined a national network focused on university
health promotion and prevention, which advances strategic initiatives
around the well-being of students, faculty and staff members.
The U.S. Health
Promoting Campuses Network (USHPCN) is guided by the Okanagan
Charter, which was established in 2015 to provide a framework for
institutions to embed health into all aspects of campus culture and to
lead health-promotion action locally and globally.
Grand Valley is the second university in Michigan and 15th in the
nation to adopt the charter. President Philomena V. Mantella signed
the charter agreement and said joining USHPCN aligns well with Grand
“I’m pleased that Grand Valley will join the 2023 cohort of
universities that adopted the Okanagan Charter," Mantella said.
"The adoption of this charter aligns with our Reach Higher 2025
goals and values of access, equity and inclusion. We have a long
history of setting students up for success; adding this framework
strengthens our current plan and expands our efforts to ensure a
healthy campus environment.”
President Philomena V. Mantella signs the Okanagan Charter in Zumberge
Hall. GVSU is the 15th institution to adopt the charter, which focuses
on embedding health into all aspects of campus life.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts
Kate Harmon, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, Well-Being
and Inclusion, led steps to apply for and adopt the charter with help
from acceleration team members from across campus.
"As GVSU continues to focus on issues of access and equity, we
are positioned at a critical setting to address gaps in health
equity," Harmon said. "The adoption of the charter sends a
strong message about GVSU’s commitment to creating a healthy
university environment for everyone."
Adding a convenience health clinic at Finkelstein Hall, operated by the GVSU Family Health Center, is an example of embedding wellness initiatives.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts
The Reset Room in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences is pictured. Group exercise classes are available in addition to fitness equipment.
Image credit - Kendra Stanley-Mills
Edward Jones II, director of Student Health Services, said the
charter's framework and resources from USHPCN members will help Grand
Valley leaders study the intersection of equity and wellness with more intention.
"We know that wellness affects student success and the wellness
of faculty and staff impacts satisfaction scores," Jones said.
"This is an opportunity for Grand Valley to show its values. We
are leaning into prevention and promotion of health, not relying on
Construction workers at the Fieldhouse are pictured, the building is undergoing expansion.
Like many new GVSU buildings, the Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale Campus was built to LEED certification, another example of embedding sustainability and wellness on campus.
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