Springfield College To Adopt Okanagan Charter To Become a U.S. Health Promoting Campus On April 23 | Springfield College

Springfield College To Adopt Okanagan Charter To Become a U.S. Health Promoting Campus On April 23


Springfield College will adopt the Okanagan Charter and officially become a Health Promoting Campus on April 23 at 12:15 pm on MacLean Terrace at Alumni Hall. Springfield College has also joined the United States Health Promoting Campuses Network.

Health Promoting Universities are an international community that aspires to transform the health and sustainability of current and future societies, strengthen communities, and contribute to the well-being of people, places and the planet. Evidence shows that people who are well are more productive, are better able to engage in deeper learning, have a greater sense of belonging, and have a stronger sense of community.

The USHPCN is guided by the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting University and Colleges, which calls on higher-education institutions to embed health into all aspects of campus culture and to lead health-promotion action and collaboration locally and globally. Created in June 2015, the Charter provides institutions with a common vision, language, principles and calls to action to become health- and well-being-promoting campuses.

"Through adopting the Okanagan Charter and joining the United States Health Promoting Campuses Network, Springfield College demonstrates its commitment to fostering a holistic approach to health and well-being within our community," said Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper. "Since our inception, Springfield College has prioritized the physical health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff, while also being proactive in focusing on the significance of mental, emotional, and social well-being. Adopting this Charter is a way to honor our commitment to being a health promoting campus and enriching a culture of empowerment, resilience, and inclusivity for a thriving and vibrant campus environment."

By adopting the Charter, Springfield College is making an institutional commitment to both the charter and its own strategic plan for how it lives out and implements health promotion on its campus and in its community. By doing so, Springfield College alongside other health-promoting universities and colleges improve the health of the people who live, learn, work, play and love on their campuses and strengthen the ecological, social and economic sustainability of their communities and wider society.

Springfield College continues to prioritize our commitment to health and well-being with initiatives such as building the Health Sciences Center, creation of The Wellness Institute, formation of an Office of Health Promotion, and the development of several new academic degree and certificate programs related to health and wellness.

Springfield College will be the 25th institution in the United States to adopt the Charter and the third in 2024. The University of Alabama at Birmingham was the first institution in the U.S. to adopt the Okanagan Charter, in December 2020.

About the Okanagan Charter
The Okanagan Charter is a guiding and aspirational document that was developed as an outcome of the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. Health promotion scholars and professionals from around the world gathered to create this document. Its purpose is to guide colleges and universities, using their unique positions and roles in research, teaching and service to their communities, to be leaders for the world in developing and modeling health-promoting strategies in their campus settings. Local communities could then learn from their example and modeling, thus influencing global health and wellbeing strategy. The key is moving beyond traditional approaches of influencing individual behavior, and moving upstream to systems level and environmental strategies that influence the health and wellbeing of person, place and planet.

About the U.S. Health Promoting Campuses Network
Initiated on January 15th, 2020, the purpose of the U.S. Health Promoting Campuses Network (USHPCN) is to facilitate, advance, and promote the adoption of the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities & Colleges for U.S. Colleges and Universities. The adoption of the Okanagan Charter as an aspirational document represents the beginning of an aspirational journey toward campus wellbeing utilizing a comprehensive settings and systems-level approach. The USHPCN is a support network that helps campuses define, develop, and create strategies and metrics that help define what it means to be a health promoting campus, recognizing that it will be different for each campus based on their unique circumstances, resources, and needs. There are currently 253 members of the network. Each member campus appoints liaisons who meet regularly to learn from, collaborate with, and support each other in this work by sharing resources, best practices, and lessons learned. The USHPCN also collaborates with international networks and is one of thirteen member networks within a more extensive international network, the International Health Promoting Universities & Colleges Network.