Colleen Harshbarger, director of WELLWVU’s Office of Wellness and Health Promotion at West Virginia University, has been elected to the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities first board of directors.

The Consortium is a group of public and private academic institutions dedicated to sharing comprehensive, evidence-based practices on faculty, staff and student wellness, academic medical centers and wellness innovation.

“Findings from numerous studies support that wellness programs delivered in the workplace lead to reductions in healthcare costs and, more importantly, healthier and more engaged students, staff, faculty, and even surrounding communities,” Harshbarger said. “This is a significant opportunity for universities and colleges to come together to work towards the comprehensive promotion of our own academic communities’ health and well-being.”

The Consortium will bring together experts and institutions of higher education from across the nation to solve some of the most pressing academic health and wellness challenges. Members of the consortium will serve as the primary resource for health and wellness programming at universities and colleges by participating in nationwide research and project evaluations, as well as gaining access to a members-only website for evidence-based tools and resources.

“I cannot express how excited I am to be working with this amazing group of wellness experts,” said Bernadette Melnyk, BHAC board president and associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. “It is a privilege to be part of a groundbreaking team that is transforming health and wellness of academic communities nationwide.”

The National Consortium was launched on April 24, 2013 after a successful inaugural Building Healthy Academic Communities national summit.



CONTACT: Colleen Harshbarger, WELLWVU

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