Think well. Live well. Be well.

These six words sum up Case Western Reserve’s new, coordinated approach to creating a true campuswide culture centered on enhancing the health of all members of the university community.

The institution long has offered students health and counseling services, and in 2012 launched a wellness program for faculty and staff. Effective with the start of this academic year, leaders of the two initiatives will be seeking opportunities to collaborate and seize potential synergies. One of the first steps in the partnerships involves the creation of a single webpage for all wellness efforts,

“Case Western Reserve sits in the heart of one of the nation’s most renowned areas for health care and biomedical research,” President Barbara R. Snyder said. “Given our location, our successful employee wellness program and recently enhanced student offerings, we have an opportunity to set a new standard for excellence in advancing the well-being of people throughout our campus.”

The two areas plan to offer modest joint programming in this initial year even as they continue to build services targeted to their respective populations. The faculty and staff program, for example, provides financial incentives relative to employee benefits for participation in wellness activities relating to areas such as stress management, nutrition and weight management, finances, tobacco cessation, and more. Last year, Case Western Reserve’s effort received a Healthy Workplace Silver Medal, an honor awarded to outstanding Ohio programs.

“We are pleased to see so many faculty and staff embrace our wellness offerings and culture of health enhancement efforts within the university,” said Elizabeth R. Click, university medical director and assistant professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. “Our participation rates are quite strong, and we hear many positive comments from those who have experienced work-life and health benefits. We look forward to finding beneficial ways to collaborate with student affairs while enhancing our existing offerings.”

The university’s student initiatives, meanwhile, provide primary care services and individual counseling, as well as a range of group programs covering such topics as grief, interpersonal processing and stress management. It also offers relaxation audio tracks as well as other online services.

This move to align all wellness efforts comes just over a year after the Division of Student Affairs combined the previously separate organizations charged to support students’ physical and mental health. Soon after, Case Western Reserve named Jennifer Wright McCarthy the inaugural executive director for University Health and Counseling Services. McCarthy, a physician who is board-certified in internal medicine, brought extensive experience in wellness and related services within the private sector and at a major New York City hospital. This summer, she reorganized existing positions to establish a new associate director for student wellness role.

“We want to serve the entire student—their mind, body and spirit—in a thoughtful and integrated way,” McCarthy said. “Putting together our health and counseling services marked a major step forward in those efforts, and the person who fills this new wellness position also will advance this approach significantly.”

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