TAMIU Employees Have Wellness
in Mind with ‘HealthyU’ Program
Texas A&M International University employees have wellness on their collective mind. That’s because TAMIU has embraced an innovative Employee Health and Wellness Program dubbed “HealthyU.”
This is the first such effort of its kind at the University. It seeks to educate, empower and support TAMIU employees in elevating campus health and wellness, said Jessica Palacios, TAMIU associate director of Human Resources and program Committee chair.
Committee members, drawn from across the University employee community, developed the program concept and planned for its implementation.
“We had envisioned this project for some time and applied for a Texas A&M University System grant that would provide us with some start-up funds to get our effort initiated,” Palacios explained.
Launched in February, “HealthyU” to date has hosted an Employee Wellness Fair, an Employee Day at the University’s Wellness and Recreational Center and this past week, launched its 10-week Walking Challenge. The first featured assessment and informational booths from community providers and services. The second provided employees with fitness assessments and an opportunity to preview on campus fitness facilities and programs available to them at a reduced fee.
TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck ushered in the event and encouraged employees to participate in “HealthyU.”
“While a University is dedicated to the pursuit of a vigorous mind, that pursuit should also be directed to helping us all to live a healthy, vigorous life as well. TAMIIU employees are fortunate to work on a campus with top-notch fitness facilities -- in addition to a beautiful setting that lends itself to walking, running and trail biking,” Dr. Keck explained.
Additional components of “HealthyU” include a monthly lunch lecture series on health topics, including cooking demonstrations and guest presenters, and the TAMIU Walking Challenge.
The Challenge generated 47 five-person teams (235 employees), competing for campus honors and prizes. The campus provided customized pedometers and team members track their success and that of competing teams on a web-based program.
A big part of the effort is communication and TAMIU has set up a dedicated employee listserv, online calendar and social media to help employees keep up to date on “HealthyU” initiatives. Employees can also apply for a program that provides limited leave time for on-campus fitness activities. Aramark, the University’s food service provider, will be clearly identifying healthy food options in its menu offerings.
Palacios says the motivation for “HealthyU” at TAMIU is clear given available research on employee/workplace health programs.
“Current research shows a direct correlation between employee health and wellness programs and lowered healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism, higher employee productivity, reduced workers’ compensation and disability-related costs, reduced injuries and improved employee loyalty, morale and sense of well-being,” she said.
“We strongly believe that by affording our employees an opportunity to better their health, we better their lives, their service to the University…all helping us to more fully realize our service mission,” she concluded.
For additional information on “HealthyU, The TAMIU Employee Wellness Program, please contact Palacios at 956.326.2362, email Jessica@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 157.
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