UCR Today

The American Heart Association Recognizes UCR’s Health Initiative

On Wednesday, March 29, The American Heart Association (AHA) presented UCR with the AHA Fit-Friendly Employer Platinum recognition and the Worksite Innovation Award for the UCR Healthy Campus Initiative. shannon koga


For the third consecutive year, UC Riverside has been recognized for an outstanding healthy workplace environment.

On March 29, the American Heart Association (AHA) presented UCR with the AHA Fit-Friendly Employer Platinum recognition and the Worksite Innovation Award for its Healthy Campus Initiative. UCR is one of 19 institutions across the nation to receive the Worksite Innovation Award.

Sheryl Wilkeson and Jessica English, AHA business development directors, presented the awards and congratulated UCR for “talking the talk” and “walking the walk.”

“You created something new—something innovative that has not been done. You had a vision, you implemented, and you showed that it could be effective and efficient in your community. It was out-of-the-box thinking and adopted campuswide. For that, we are really proud of you,” Wilkeson said.

UCR implemented the Healthy Campus Initiative in January 2016. The initiative aims to improve quality of life and campus culture through a comprehensive approach including activity classes, education, and group exercise, among other things.

Ron Coley, vice chancellor of business administration services, and Deborah Deas, dean of the School of Medicine, accepted the awards on behalf of all involved with the UCR Healthy Campus Initiative.

“We do not rest on our laurels. We take the posture that ‘good enough isn’t good enough.’ We take the posture that ‘we’re committed to continuous improvement,'” said Coley, who lauded Julie Chobdee, Wellness Program coordinator, as “the most valuable player.” “I am so proud of what it is we’re doing here at UCR. I suspect UCR can lead the rest of the UC campuses when it comes to healthy campuses.”

It takes a team effort to make the Healthy Campus Initiative a success, Chobdee said. “You can’t be a most valuable player without the team, and I’m fortunate to have a fantastic team to work with,” Chobdee said.

Learn more about UCR’s Wellness Program at wellness.ucr.edu.

Watch a slideshow recap of the event (Photos by Shannon Koga):

Ron Coley, Deborah Deas, Julie Chobdee and others line up with the AHA Platinum award and Worksite Innovation Award.
Julie Chobdee asks integral wellness ambassadors to stand for applause and recognition.
Julie Chobdee, wellness program coordinator, discussing the importance of a fit and friendly workplace.
Dean of the School of Medicine, Deborah Deas thanking the AHA for the award.
Dean Deborah Deas said, "It really warmed my heart to look at the puzzle we put together around wellness. and it's not just the physical activity, but also the emotional and mental health."
Ron Coley, vice chancellor of business and administration services, thanking the wellness program coordinators and ambassadors.
UCR was one of 19 institutions across the country to receive the Worksite Innovation Award.
Sheryl Wilkeson and Jessica English of the AHA present the Fit-Friendly Employer Platinum Recognition award and the Worksite Innovation Award for the UCR Healthy Campus Initiative efforts.
Marsha Marion, manager of workplace health and fitness, introducing the AHA representatives, Sheryl Wilkeson and Jessica English.
Citrus Grove Catering on campus catered healthy sandwiches and fruit in the spirit of the healthy campus.
The audience, full of wellness program employees and volunteers, comments on the success of the Healthy Campus Initiative.