Tag: Wellness

Lawrence launches new Health and Society minor, with focus on health disparities

The Health and Society minor will dig deep into issues and complexities that shape individual and public health, from food sourcing to social inequities.

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Lawrence University has introduced a new Health and Society minor that will explore the intersection of human health and global social inequities.

The program, drawing on faculty expertise from social, cultural, biological, and environmental fields across campus, will be available to students beginning in Fall Term. It can be paired with any major and will provide important preparation for students eyeing health- or social justice-related careers or graduate school programs, said Beth De Stasio, the Raymond H. Herzog Professor of Science and professor of biology.

The minor isn’t only about health care; rather, it’s focused on all of the complex issues that shape individual and population health.

“It brings together courses from across the humanities, social and natural sciences to give students a more holistic understanding of the origins of health, illness, and disability, including origins of the disparities in health and health outcomes we see in this country and across the globe,” De Stasio said.

More on the Health and Society minor can be found here

Students pursuing the Health and Society minor will take classes across fields such as anthropology, ethnic studies, and philosophy. They will examine their own experiences working with vulnerable populations and explore career paths that empower them to make a difference in people’s lives.

The minor will include one course that places health in a global or community setting; two courses covering cultural and psychosocial aspects of health and illness or disability; two courses focused on the biological, biochemical, or environmental aspect of human health; one course that facilitates career exploration and self-reflection; and an option for 100 hours of engaged learning.

It will allow students the space to learn about the complexities and complications tied to health and the varied factors at play—from privilege and discrimination to food systems and infrastructure.

The new minor represents a liberal arts approach to a complicated, important area of study, said Mark Jenike, associate professor of anthropology.

“They often seek out and demand rich, complicated understandings of outcomes using tools from across the curriculum,” he said of Lawrence students. “The Health and Society minor gives them an opportunity to do so specifically in the realm of health. We hope that the broader and deeper understanding of why health disparities exist, both locally and globally, that they gain from the minor will help to make them more empathetic, critical, and ultimately more effective health care providers in their chosen field.”

One newly developed course brings it all together with a focus on career exploration tied to health. Alumni who are working in related fields will be integrated into the teaching of the course to share their wisdom and experiences with students, De Stasio said.

“It will allow students the time and intention to undertake exploration of the wide variety of career paths within the field of health care, as well as provide a facilitated discernment process in which their values and skills can be matched against various types of career paths,” she said.

In addition to the classroom work, faculty will work with students in pursuit of internships, paid employment, or volunteer work related to health care delivery, health care policy, or related work with vulnerable populations.

“I think health-interested students will be drawn to the minor because it is distinctive,” Jenike said. “And that’s the point of coming to Lawrence in the first place, right?”

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Self-care focus of opening 2017-18 cultural competency lecture issues

Erin Buenzli
Erin Buenzli

A lecture series examining issues related to cultural competency launched last year by Lawrence University returns Thursday, Sept. 21 with the opening program of the 2017-18 academic year.

Erin Buenzli, Lawrence’s director of wellness and recreation, presents “A Community of Self-Care” at 11:30 a.m. in the Esch-Hurvis Room of the Warch Campus Center. The program is free and open to the public.

Underscoring the importance of taking care of ourselves as well as others for the betterment of the campus community and society, Buenzli, will discuss campus resources available for creating an inclusive wellness culture where each person’s unique needs are recognized and nurtured in their individual pursuit of wellness.

a icon for the cultural compency lecture seriesShe also will examine ways each members of the Lawrence community can take part in the shared responsibility of creating a culture of compassion, empathy and self-care.

The cultural competency lecture series is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Wellness Council of America Recognizes Lawrence with Gold Workplace Award

Lawrence University’s commitment to the health and well being of its employees has earned it a Gold Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) in conjunction with the Wellness Council of Wisconsin.

Well-Workplace-Logo_newsblogThe Gold Well Workplaces Award recognizes organizations that have successfully built comprehensive worksite wellness initiatives and are demonstrating concrete results.

“As a Well Workplace Award recipient, Lawrence University has joined the ranks of ‘America’s Healthiest Organizations,'” said Patty Leiker, associate director of human resources and Lawrence’s employee wellness coordinator. “Becoming a Well Workplace demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to improving and maintaining the health and well-being of our most valuable asset — our faculty and staff — making quality of life a top priority.”

WELCOA’s Well Workplace awards are based on a criteria of seven “Cs”: Capturing CEO support; Creating a cohesive wellness team; Collecting data to drive health efforts; Carefully crafting an operating plan; Choosing appropriate interventions; Creating a supportive environment; and Carefully evaluating outcomes.

Lawrence’s recent wellness initiatives focused on five specific interventions:

Lawrence is committed to being aware of health-related issues regarding the heart.

• Healthy Eating/Weight Management. A competition for teams of three people was held from Nov. 13 to Jan. 9 to encourage participants to maintain or lose weight during the holidays. The competition attracted 60 participants (20 teams of three), with 18 teams completing the program. – Total weight lost for all teams was 201 lbs., a 2.2 percent decrease, with one team losing a competition-best 5.72 percent of its combined weight.

• Stress Management. Lawrence partnered with local masseuses to provide on-campus 30- and 60-minute massages in the Wellness Center at reduced costs to participants to promote stress management, relaxation and work/life balance opportunities. Post-massage questionnaire comments indicated the program superseded expectations and participants recommended it to their colleagues.

• Tobacco.  In conjunction with the Lawrence University Community Council, plans were approved for an entirely smoke-free campus with the exception of only two designated outdoor smoking areas, one on each end of campus, strategically located away from high-traffic areas. The wellness committee has not received any complaints or concerns since the policy was implemented.

The Lawrence Wellness Center provides numerous workout options.

• Physical Activity. In addition to free access to the on-campus wellness center and its pool, gymnasium, cardio equipment, weights, a running track and locker rooms, an on-campus fitness program features yoga, pilates, zumba, a noon walking group and intramural sports, among others, all at no cost to employees. Athletic training services also were available.  Average faculty/staff usage increased from 551 visits per month from January-May 2011 to 620 visits per month in January-May 2012.

• Medical Self-Care. Campus-wide QPR (Question-Persuade-Refer) training on suicide awareness was offered to all faculty, staff and students. The “Lawrence Lifeline” program certified individuals as QPR gatekeepers on campus who were trained to identify and initiate discussions with others who might be having thoughts of suicide. More than 90 percent of participants reported increased knowledge of suicide and its prevention and more than 80 percent of participants reported enhanced confidence in incorporating that knowledge into interactions with students.

“The Well Workplace process has been instrumental in helping us to target and develop strategic interventions, evaluate the outcomes of these programs and provide a campus culture that encourages and supports well-being,” said Leiker. “We are thrilled to have had this opportunity and with the support of President Mark Burstein, his cabinet and other campus leaders, we look forward to building an even stronger program and eventually achieving the platinum award.”

Since WELCOA’s inception in 1991, more than 1,000 organizations in both the non-profit and profit sectors have joined the list of “America’s Healthiest Companies” by earning the Well Workplace Award.

“Lawrence University worked hard to successfully meet the rigorous standards set by the Well Workplace process. It is our pleasure to recognize them as the newest Wisconsin employer to achieve Well Workplace status” said Jessica Raddemann, executive director of the Wellness Council of Wisconsin.

Lawrence will host the annual Fox Cities Well Workplace awards ceremony Oct. 29 from 4:30-8 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center.  An announcement regarding the status of the Fox Cities as a “Well City USA” will be made that evening. Achieving a Well City designation requires that 20 percent of a community’s entire working population must be employed by at least 20 Well Workplace award-winning organizations.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Pedal Power: Lawrence University Wins National Bike Challenge

Only a road trip to a local nature center to pick up some duckweed for a biology class that required the use of her car prevented assistant laboratory supervisor JoAnn Stamm from biking to work every day this summer.

Stamm’s dedication helped Lawrence University edge Ripon College to finish first among 111 colleges and universities nationally in the small-colleges division (less than 3,000 students) in the recently completed first National Bike Challenge.

Led by Stamm’s team-high 1,108 miles, Lawrence’s 27 faculty and staff riders logged 6,270 miles during the challenge that ran from May 1 to August 31. One point was awarded for each mile ridden with 20 points awarded to each rider for each day they biked.

Lawrence finished with a total of 21,505 points, edging Ripon College, which had led the challenge most of the summer, by just 279 points. Out of 9,578 workplaces nationally who participated in the bike challenge, Lawrence placed 124th.

Avid biker JoAnn Stamm helped Lawrence University win the small college division of the first National Bike Challenge.

“Everyone at the bank knows me because I come through the drive-in on my bike,” said Stamm, a 15-year Lawrence employee who makes the daily three-mile trek from her home to the Lawrence campus on an 18-year old Timberland crossroads bike. “I do my grocery shopping on my bike. I just try to ride every day all year long, as long as there isn’t any snow on the street.”

For the past several years, Stamm has averaged about 1,500 miles a year on her bike, but is hoping to top the 2,000-mile mark in 2012.

“Biking has been a part of my life since I was a teenager,” said Stamm, 58. “We only had one car in my family growing up so I used a bike to get around. It just became a part of my lifestyle.”

Patty Leiker, Lawrence’s employee wellness coordinator, said she was thrilled when the final standings were posted and Lawrence finished first in the nation in its category.

“It’s exciting to know that Lawrence values the well-being of students, faculty and staff and continues to support these and other types of wellness offerings through both on-campus opportunities and collaborations within the Fox Cities community,” said Leiker.  “Kudos to all the Lawrence folks who participated.”

Lawrence will be recognized Thursday, Sept. 27 for its winning performance by the City of Appleton’s Trail Advisory Committee and Andy Clark and Elizabeth Kiker, president and vice president, respectively, of the League of American Bicyclists. The city of Appleton also participated in the challenge, placing second nationally in the “communities” category.

The awards presentation will be part of a public forum — “Making Appleton More Bicycle Friendly” — hosted by Lawrence at the Warch Campus Center Cinema from 6-7 p.m.

“Kimberly-Clark is pleased to be the corporate sponsor of the first National Bike Challenge. We congratulate Lawrence University on its first-place finish in the small university category,” said Rob Gusky, Kimberly-Clark’s Ambassador of Cycling. “As the National Bike Challenge was developed in the Fox Cites, it is exciting to see a local university have great success in this program.”

Kimberly-Clark Corporation organized the National Bike Challenge in partnership with the League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong and Endomondo, a mobile-based sports and fitness tracking community, as a way to promote bike ridership for both transportation and recreation purposes. The entire challenge generated 12,094,591 miles ridden, surpassing its overall goal of 10 million miles.

Sixty-three percent of Lawrence’s collective 6,270 miles were logged for transportation purposes, saving an estimated 5,740 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Wellness Center grand opening by the numbers

More than 500 Lawrence students, faculty and staff attended the grand opening of the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center January 12, touring the renovated facility and participating in a variety of wellness-related activities:

Wellness stations on the self-guided tour

Blood donors

First-time blood donors

Visitors completing a “passport to wellness”

Sport bags distributed to students faculty and staff

Grand opening prizewinners:

  • Julian Delfino (student)—CopperLeaf Hotel overnight stay with dinner and spa package
  • Linda Peeters (Conferences and Summer Programs)—Ladies Fuji bike with accessories and helmet
  • Nathan Groth (student)—Men’s Fuji bike with accessories and helmet
  • Joyce Lambert (student)—4 Personal training sessions with LU Head Athletic Trainer, Erin Buenzli
  • Natasha Pugh (student)— Massage Connection gift certificate
  • Andrew Finley (student)—Massage Connection gift certificate
  • Josh Dukelow (Development)—Bon Appetit healthy treat basket

And the opening is just the beginning!

Lawrence University hopes you will take advantage of all the Wellness Center has to offer, as well as participate in regular wellness events such as:

  • Join the “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!” eight-week physical activity program.  Pick up your activity log and a yellow WelLU wristband at the Wellness Center main entrance reception desk. Log your physical activity in increments of 10 minutes and when you’ve completed 400 minutes, turn your log in at the reception desk and receive a new log and green WelLU wristband. Record another 400 minutes of activity for a total of 800 minutes by Friday, March 11, and get a blue WelLU wristband. Wear your wristbands on campus to demonstrate your commitment to being physically active!
  • Check out the new Wellness Center website which is easily accessible through a link on the Lawrence University home page and be sure to visit the link to the WelLU website regularly. The WelLU website features:
  1. FROM THE HEART – Share your personal wellness-related story and read success stories shared by other LU faculty, staff and students
  2. SUGGESTION BOX – What type of wellness programs would you like to see on campus?  Share your suggestions and your feedback with one simple online click
  3. WelLU BLOG – Find out about the latest wellness “happenings” on campus
  5. NEWSLETTERS – featuring information and resources on the many dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, environmental, etc.)
  6. PRESENTATIONS: View a video of John Shier’s March 2010 presentation to the Lawrence Community on “How To Live Long and Die Healthy”; View a variety of PowerPoint presentations and recorded webinars on topics such as “Getting Active”, “Letting Go Of Stress”, “Self-Care”, and more!
  8. LINKS to Well City Fox Cities, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and many other respected organizations
  9. LINKS to “Student Wellness”, “Health & Counseling Services”, “Athletics”, the “Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center”, “LU Library Wellness Resources”, “Smoke-Free Campus Map” and more!
  10. Lawrence University’s Healthy Balance Statement
  11. PHA’S – detailed annual aggregate Personal Health Assessment reports

Welcome to Wellness at Lawrence University!