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UNI receives 2014 Healthy Iowa Award

April 28, 2014

Therese Callaghan, employee disability and leave coordinator, Human Resource Services, 319-273-6164,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Healthiest State Initiative recognized the University of Northern Iowa's achievements in leading Iowa's charge in advancing well-being during the Healthy Iowa awards ceremony on April 16 in Des Moines.

Top applicants demonstrated collaboration, high levels of engagement and implementation of policy change to support wellness across multiple platforms. During the past several years UNI has made numerous changes to improve the well-being of those on campus as part of its involvement in the Blue Zones Project, a global initiative to promote healthy living through permanent changes to the environment, policy and social networks.

Actions that have been implemented include the installation of 45 water bottle refilling stations, the addition of bike parking spaces as well as two bike maintenance stations and the creation of the UNI Panther Plot, a student-run, faculty- and staff-supported vegetable garden on campus. Produce from the garden is purchased by on-campus dining facilities, offered to faculty and staff for purchase, and also donated to the local area food bank. Some of the benefits UNI employees receive include free annual biometric screenings and flu shots, health and wellness educational sessions, health contests and resources, and an annual employee benefits and wellness fair.

"UNI being chosen for the Healthy Iowa Award is an honor and speaks to the collaborative work on campus among students, faculty and staff," said Therese Callaghan, employee disability and leave coordinator for UNI Human Resource Services. "Work in the areas of sustainability, wellness and recreation, employee wellness and in the Department of Residence is making a positive impact, and it is getting noticed!"

For more information, contact Callaghan at 319-273-6164 or