UT Knoxville was named the Campus of the Year by the Healthier Tennessee Initiative. This is the highest honor given to a campus community participating in the Healthier Tennessee program.
The program, founded by the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, strives to increase physical activity, promote healthier diets and reduce tobacco usage in Tennessee communities.
Be Well at UT Knoxville exemplified what it means to be a Healthier Tennessee Campus. Spearheaded by the Center for Health Education and Wellness (CHEW), this program aims to improve the health and wellness of the university’s employees by providing health education and resources, such as the Small Starts App and the Be Well Fitbit Community. Be Well encourages employees to lead a healthier lifestyle through activity, nutrition and tobacco cessation by offering helpful tips in exercise and diet while also promoting UT Knoxville’s smoke-free campus policy and procedure.
The Be Well Initiative also offers events and programs to faculty and staff in pursuit of living a healthier lifestyle. UT employees can take advantage of free healthy cooking classes hosted by the UT Culinary Institute, wellness gardening classes instructed by UT Gardens and monthly employee fitness classes. An additional program offered by Be Well is the Healthy Lifestyle Program. It is a six-week lunch-and-learn program that aims to help UT personnel create healthier habits through physical activity and proper nutrition. There are numerous ways to stay connected and engaged with Be Well all year, including Employee Health & Fitness Week in May, Employee Field Day in June, Yoga Fest in September. Employees can also subscribe to monthly newsletters on Be Well’s website (www.bewell.utk.edu).
Michele Dorsainvil, CHEW associate director, stresses that student, faculty and staff involvement is key to achieving the work done by the Be Well and Healthier Tennessee initiatives. Those interested in bettering the health and wellness of the UT community can join the VolWell Committee. This committee is comprised of undergraduate students, faculty and staff who serve as an advisory team to the Student Health Center, Student Counseling Center, Center for Education and Wellness and the Be Well Employee Wellness Program. Their work includes promoting and hosting events throughout the year around topics such as healthy relationships, sexual health promotion, alcohol and other drug education and sexual assault prevention.
For more information on programs and initiatives happening on the UT Knoxville campus, visit https://wellness.utk.edu, or call CHEW’s main office at 865-974-5725.