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Embracing wellness from A to Z

Amanda Goodman

From eating well to working well, Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation prides itself on the wellness culture it has cultivated over the years.

In 2017 alone, the college opened a dedicated wellness space for faculty and staff, held a challenge that resulted in more than 8,600 miles logged by participating employees in a two-month period and helped spur healthy holiday habits.

Not one to rest on its laurels, the college is adding to its employee wellbeing repertoire by joining Wellness AtoZ, a program through the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, as a platinum employer.

“I see the Wellness AtoZ program as a way to enhance existing ASU Employee Wellness initiatives and an opportunity for CONHI to demonstrate its commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles,” said Amy Fitzgerald, senior director of community engagement for health and the liaison for the program.

She says not only does this program align with the initiatives the college is already encouraging, but it creates a way for the entire nursing and health innovation community to connect with those outside of the college.

“I believe engaging the community includes not only the public and our partner organizations, but also our own faculty, staff and students,” Fitzgerald said.

The aim of the initiative, which is open to employers large and small, is to help make Arizona and the Phoenix region known as a destination for healthy employees and employers.

“Our goal is to build a stronger, healthier community as the Wellness AtoZ initiative gains state and national recognition for Arizona, and we’re thrilled that ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation will be with us along the way” said Nicole Pepper, Wellness AtoZ coordinator.

The program has four main principles:

• EatWell: promote healthy food choices in the workplace

• LiveWell: inspire health and wellness at work

• PlayWell: promote physical activity and highlight the wonders of Arizona

• WorkWell: share best practices in worksite wellness

To be considered a platinum employer you have to adopt and implement all four principles in your workplace. Wellness AtoZ is free and can be used to complement existing workplace programs.

Right now, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation is the only ASU entity involved in Wellness AtoZ but that is something both Pepper and Fitzgerald believe could change in time.

“I’m hopeful evidence of the college’s successful incorporation of the Wellness AtoZ program will make a case for expanding the program university-wide,” Fitzgerald said.