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Making outstanding efforts and achievements in actively creating a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors, East Central University was recently recognized as a Certified Healthy Oklahoma Campus at the excellence level.

Additionally, ECU achieved an award as a Certified Healthy Oklahoma Business as well.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program showcases organizations and communities, and in this case campuses, that are committed to fostering environments that support healthy choices.

“ECU has done a terrific job of implementing and maintaining healthy standards for our students, faculty and staff. Receiving Healthy Campus Excellence status is due to the collaborative effort of many campus programs and everyone’s commitment to wellness,” said Holli Witherington, human resources instructor and director of the Brandon Whitten Institute at ECU. “The Brandon Whitten Institute is especially proud to assist with our tobacco-free campus policy and program.”

Oklahoma’s vision is to create healthier places to live, work, learn and play. As a result of this vision, seven Certified Healthy Oklahoma Programs are challenging all Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free as well as implement policies to create healthy environments throughout the state.

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health, Center for the Advancement of Wellness, is pleased to award East Central University with Certified Healthy Excellence status,” said Courtney Peters, Family Health Wellness Systems Coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Wellness. “ECU is clearly taking steps to make their campus healthier for faculty, staff and students.”

To earn excellence status, campuses must enforce a 24/7 and 100 percent tobacco free campus policy that applies to the entire property under their control, both indoors and outdoors.

Eight standards were utilized in the application process for Certified Healthy Campus status, including integration with the learning mission of higher education; collaborative practice; cultural competence; tobacco (which is the combination of two standards); drug, alcohol and mental health issues; health, wellness, safety and professional development/continuing education.

“We encourage anyone that wants more information on tobacco issues or cessation services to come by our office,” Witherington said.

The Branden Whitten Institute office is located in Room 109 of Horace Mann on the ECU campus.


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