Integrated Healthy Campus Initiative created to promote campus-wide well-being

Courtesy of Jimmy Lai/Highlander
Courtesy of Jimmy Lai/Highlander

The Integrated Healthy Campus Initiative (IHCI) is a new initiative established in order to promote and support a healthy campus culture at UC Riverside.

The IHCI was approved for action in December 2015, with both Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox and Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative Services Ron Coley demonstrating full support of the initiative. Wilcox and Coley both will oversee the work of the Healthy Campus Initiative Advisory Committee and the Healthy Campus Resources Network, which is comprised of seven subcommittees.

Coley currently serves as the senior leader wellness champion of the Campus Wellness Oversight Committee, with Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine at the UCR School of Medicine Dr. Yi-Pin Cheng and Wellness Program Coordinator Julie Chobdee, who serve as co-chairs of the Healthy Campus Initiative Advisory Committee.

Coley, Cheng and Chobdee will all serve a role overseeing the work of a cross-functional committee consisting of seven subcommittees. Each of the committees have a specific focus and the committee’s structure allows for students, faculty and staff to become involved with the initiative. UCR community members who get involved can choose to join one or more committees that will create projects through the creation of short-term and long-term goals.

“With our initiative, we’re trying to look at how do we change the environment — through policies, through the way things are done here on campus to support our faculty, staff and students to be healthier,” Chobdee explained.

Methods that Chobdee listed for enacting the vision of IHCI include increasing access to healthy foods on campus, opportunities to be active and placing an emphasis on preventive health. “It could be the design of the campus, in terms of like, marked walking paths, more stairwells, lactation rooms, to having faculty give health messages in their classes.”

The seven subcommittees areas include healthy eating and nutrition, physical activity, mental health and emotional wellness, built environment, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, preventive health, communications and marketing and metrics and data, all of which are open to students, faculty and staff to take part in.

In terms of Coley’s hopes for the IHCI he said, “I think the way in which I’ve envisioned the Healthy Campus Initiative, is that it is not about any single segment or component of the campus, but it’s about the entire campus. Indeed, it is about the faculty, it’s about the staff and especially about the students.” Coley also expressed that he would like for UCR to be known as a healthy campus with healthy habits.

Looking ahead, the initiative aims to grow campus-wide involvement amongst faculty, staff and students.

“I would like for it to be a signature of the campus, and there are places that we go, that we go and we know that this is what that community is about,” stated Coley. “I’m very interested when people come to, or they hear about and read about our experience at UC Riverside, they’re able to say, there’s something different about that campus and it really seemed to be involved in invested.”

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