Employees get healthy
Wellness program provides support for faculty and staff
Before the next few months bring on holidays, exams, travel — and the possibility of excess eating and stress — employees at the University of Missouri can find help to get healthier.
Walk to Wellness, the MU and UM System employee wellness fair, is presented by Healthy for Life: The T.E. Atkins University of Missouri Wellness Program. All University employees are welcome at the fair, which will include fasting glucose, cholesterol and skin cancer screenings and access to reduced- or no-cost smoking cessation, weight loss, stress reduction and exercise programs. Benefit-eligible employees also will receive flu shots with no co-pay through a collaboration between the program and UM Faculty and Staff Benefits.
The fair takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29, at the Reynolds Alumni Center.
"Human resources are our most valuable asset that we have in the University," says Laura Schopp, program director. "It makes sense for us to be thinking proactively to keep people healthy."
In addition to offering health screenings and programs for assistance, Schopp hopes to gather more information about the needs and wants of University employees.
Employees can complete the confidential health-assessment online. Data will be de-identified before being analyzed for overall health trends. The aim is to determine the specific needs of the campus community, to develop programs to address those needs and to assess whether the programs are achieving the desired outcomes. As an enticement, taking the survey automatically registers users for a chance to win a recumbent exercise bike, an iPod Nano or a pedometer.
The program was initiated by and named for former Board of Curators member Tom Atkins, who donated $105,000 to start it. In December 2006, the board voted to fund the program and extend it to all four UM System campuses. A pilot program with University Health Care kicked off in 2004. Rolla, Kansas City and St. Louis campuses will have their first health fairs in Spring 2008.