Slippery Rock University wins 2016 Healthiest Employers of Western Pennsylvania award


healthy campus dwellers play frisbee

April 8, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's efforts to encourage employees to take 10,000 steps a day, relax through yoga and mindful meditation and take time to play are paying off in more ways than just having a healthier staff. The University was recently awarded a 2016 Healthiest Employers of Western Pennsylvania Award from the Pittsburgh Business Times.

This is the second consecutive year SRU has been recognized for its coordinated efforts to change the campus culture toward improved health and wellness.

The award recognizes companies that have made a commitment to make wellness a priority for employees. Award recipients were judged based on their responses to an online survey conducted by the Business Times. Joy Urda, SRU assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, and Marcia Kotek, SRU benefits and transaction manager for human resources, submitted SRU's application on behalf of the President's Wellness Commission.

"We know we are doing a good job at promoting wellness on campus, and we know that our efforts are paying off, so it is nice to have outside recognition of our accomplishments," Kotek said.

Urda said the award recognizes that SRU has infused wellness into the overall culture of the University.

"The Healthiest Employers Award is an honor because it is a reminder of what we're doing across campus," Urda said. "Our mission is to promote wellness, not only for students, but also for faculty and staff."

The Wellness Commission, one of six groups appointed by the president, works to promote awareness of wellness and empower individuals to make choices and enact behaviors that positively influence their wellness. The Commission focuses on physical wellness, emotional wellness, spiritual wellness, social wellness, environmental wellness and occupational wellness.

Randy Nichols, professor of physical and health education and Renee Bateman, SRU health promotions coordinator, serve as co-chairs of the Commission.

The Business Times will honor recipients during its June 9 Healthiest Employers Expo in Pittsburgh.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |