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Trend Six: Understand wellness on a personal and societal level and empower individuals to make choices that positively impact their well-being and quality of life.

Slippery Rock University is committed to the personal development of its students and community members by facilitating intellectual curiosity, as well as a commitment to wellness, and to emotional and spiritual growth. The need for students to understand, appreciate, and make lifestyle choices promoting wellness is central to their development as well-rounded and educated individuals. Moreover, emerging trends underscore the urgency for all people to understand wellness and enact behaviors contributing to their own wellness in order for them to be fully-contributing members of their local and global communities. 

There is a well established link between lifestyle choices and physical and mental ailments that result in a diminished quality of life and, ultimately, death. The CDC estimates that 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are from chronic diseases, and the total cost of chronic and lifestyle related disease is $1.8 trillion annually. Although the incidences of lifestyle related diseases is on the rise, there is also a trend of growing recognition that modifiable behaviors and lifestyle choices have a profound impact on health and well-being. Further, there is an accelerating trend of employers and governments enacting wellness promotion programs. Careers available in Wellness related industries will grow profoundly in the coming decades, and businesses will value employees who can demonstrate that they engage in behaviors that contribute to their own health and wellness.

Slippery Rock University will support both academic and non-academic initiatives that enhance wellness and increase student awareness of the profound role that wellness-related issues play in society.  Whether choosing a wellness related career or not, Slippery Rock University graduates will enjoy knowledge and skills which will contribute to their professional development as well as their quality of life.

Strategic Vision:  A culture that embraces wellness as an essential facet of life for all individuals in the University and surrounding communities and empowers individuals to make choices and enact behaviors that positively influence their wellness. 

The plan takes a “learning reconsidered” approach which seeks to develop individuals by using a synergistic blend of academic and non-academic University resources.  The University committee includes members who represent all of the 7 dimensions of wellness.  This committee monitors the wellness needs of the communities and designs and implements initiatives to advance the wellness of the individuals in these communities. Assessments will be made using strategies specific to each initiative. The ultimate aim is to engage all members of the communities.

SRU Goal -  Increase awareness of the connection between physical activity and health/wellness, and also increase participation in physical activity.

ACTION         The Wellness Committee will coordinate initiatives that provide guided physical activity programs (Exercise is Medicine).

MEASURE     Participation rates in the Exercise is Medicine initiatives.  

BASELINE     Will be participation rates in the current year (2011-2012)

ACTION         Promote the Presidents Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge to heighten awareness of the benefits associated with physical activity and increase self-directed physical activity. 

MEASURE     Registration rates and the amount of self-reported physical activity associated with the PALA challenge. 

BASELINE     Will be registration rates and activity levels (2011-2012).

ACTION         Yoga and Mindfulness sessions will be offered to facilitate stress reduction and coping skills.

MEASURE     Participation rates within the sessions. 

BASELINE     Current participation rates (2011-2012).

SRU Goal:  Increase awareness and expand opportunities and settings for health/wellness assessments ensuring that all aspects of wellness are included in community assessments.

ACTION         Market and conduct various health/wellness assessments including depression screenings, blood pressure screenings, alcohol use screenings, body composition assessments, etc. 

MEASURE     The number of assessment events, the diversity of the events, and the participation levels within these events. 

BASELINE     The number of events and the participation rates in the current year (2011-2012) as well as the diversity of assessments currently offered. 

SRU Goal:  Develop a program with “Student Wellness Champions” to increase awareness and enact health/wellness initiatives directed towards the student body.

ACTION         Coordinate a collaborative multidisciplinary peer-to-peer approach amongst our student champions to increase understanding of the impact of lifestyle choices on quality of life.    

MEASURE     A qualitative description of the collaborations as well as a tracking of the multidisciplinary collaborative peer-to-peer initiatives.   

BASELINE     To be established during the 2011-2012 academic year.    

Definition: Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward an optimal quality of life. It emphasizes the state of the entire being and a person’s ongoing development. The pursuit and achievement of wellness is unique and dynamic for every individual. Wellness includes a blending of the following dimensions: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, environmental, and occupational.

Physical Wellness: Physical wellness is the synergy of each individual’s daily behavior.  The dimensions include physical fitness, activity levels, nutrition, and sleep.  Proactive choices include safety and prevention measures, health screenings, and disease management behaviors.

Emotional Wellness: Emotional wellness emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of one's feelings. The dimensions include the cultivation of positive and hopeful feelings about oneself and life, the capacity to manage one's feelings and related behaviors and the development of meaningful connections and engagement with the world.

Spiritual Wellness: Spiritual wellness refers to the integration of beliefs in relationship with others, the external world and/or a sense of the Divine. Dimensions of spiritual wellness include growth in awareness and understanding of one’s meaning and purpose in life, experiences of inner and relational peace, expression of truth and values, and practice of faith and morals.

Social Wellness: Social wellness focuses on contributing to the overall welfare of the human community.  The dimensions include good communication skills, interdependence with others, the pursuit of harmony in the community, and the development of support systems.

Intellectual Wellness: Intellectual wellness encompasses the development of knowledge and the desire for lifelong learning and self-improvement through mental challenge.  The dimensions include curiosity, creativity, problem solving.

Environmental Wellness: Environmental wellness is maintaining a way of life that exists in harmony with the Earth through active engagement with your surroundings.  The dimensions include protecting ourselves from environmental hazards, using the gifts of nature wisely, and making positive impacts on the quality of our environment.   

Occupational wellness: Occupational wellness is achieving personal satisfaction in one’s work/leisure balance.  The dimensions include contributing your unique gifts, skills and talents to vocation(s) that are meaningful and rewarding.

Steering Committee  

President Cheryl J. Norton
Dr. Philip Way
Ms. Molly Mercer
Dr. Robert Watson
Ms. Barbara Ender
Ms. Rita Abent
Ms. Tina Moser
Mr. Eliott Baker
Dr. Nancy Barta-Smith
Ms. Carrie Birckbichler
Dr. John Bonando
Dr. Patrick Burkhart (APSCUF)
Dr. Patti Campbell
Mr. Herb Carlson
Dr. Jerry Chmielewski
Mr. Rogers Clements (SGA)
Dr. Cornelius Cosgrove
Ms. Lorraine Craven
Dr. Keith Dils

Dr. Thomas Flynn 
Dr. Susan Hannam
Ms. Mary Hennessey
Dr. Athula Herat
Ms. Samantha Kelly
Ms. Mary Ann King
Mr. Paul Lueken
Dr. Jeffrey Lynn
Ms. Holly McCoy
Ms. Lynne Motyl
Dr. Randall Nichols
Dr. Paula Olivero
Ms. Deb Pincek
Dr. Katrina Quinn

Mr. Regis Schiebel
Ms. Kelly Sladden (ARHS)
Dr. Langdon Smith
Dr. Steven Strain
Ms. Melissa Teodoro
Mr. Philip Tramdack
Dr. Eva Tsuquiashi-Daddesio
Mr. Tom Watson (AFSCME)
Dr. Amanda Yale