New Campus-wide Program Promotes Better Health

Whole Person Wellness (WPW), a new program that encourages good health and wise health choices, has become a part of Southwestern’s accreditation plan, and it has begun to sweep across the campus in more or less obvious ways.

According to Kerrie Kimbrow, assistant professor of nursing and director of this new program, WPW came about this year as the unique approach toward the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) required by the university’s accreditation. In 2006, the University’s QEP plan featured a 10-year emphasis on improving student writing across curriculum lines, and every 10 years the university must come up with a new plan that will improve the student experience. This year, health and everything it entails was the area Southwestern chose to improve. They believe that health is important not only for the improvement of the school but will also prove to benefit the students. Health, whether good or poor, affects every aspect of the human’s well-being. As a result, Southwestern’s faculty and staff are doing everything in their power to promote healthier options and choices for their students.

Kerrie Kimbrow

To make students more aware and get them involved, SWAU has creatively interwoven this new program into the school’s every-day duties. For example, a two-credit course called Wellness for Life has been implemented into the 2016-2017 Bulletin as a requirement for freshmen and incoming students to take for them to graduate. The course covers the aspects of whole-person wellness based on C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. health (choice, rest, environment, activity, trust, interpersonal relationships, outlook and nutrition) that is established from the biblical story of creation. To help students understand its importance, the course isn’t just for theoretical knowledge but also provides practical application so students can begin to actively change the way they live to have a healthier lifestyle.

Other methods that are being used include a gradual change in the food served at the cafeteria. Chef Mandy Smith is working with local farmers to cut back on processed foods and provided healthier options for the students.

“Southwestern is making plans to make a C.R.E.A.T.I.O.N. Health walking/jogging trail on campus that will provide a pathway outdoors for students to use,” says Kimbrow. “The trail will also have checkpoints along the way where students can scan and receive more information on better health options.”

SWAU is working together with the Florida Hospital and Huguley Health to make this program a success. Florida Hospital, the originators of the creation health program, are assisting the school in implementation ideas and starting programs. They are also helping the school with an online health assessment program that will enable individuals to manage their health improvement progress. Students will be able to take this every year during college and even after they graduate to see how they are doing health wise in the choices they make and if their health is improving or declining. Huguley is also working with SWAU in doing outreach to the community.

The main purpose of Whole Person Wellness is to educate individuals on making wiser, conscientious choices in their life and health that will benefit them in their future. Southwestern Adventist University wants their students to thrive spiritually, emotionally, socially and physically.

 “We want to make it easy students to make good/positive choices in these areas,” says Kimbrow. “We know from research that during college years health tends to deteriorate because students tend to make poorer choices. Health-wise, college students aren’t being too aware of their choices and how it will affect them when they become adults. This program is to educate and make them more aware of that fact.”

The project under the WPW is to last for ten years but Southwestern is aiming to continue with the program even when the ten years have expired. As of now, promotion towards health improvement such as Flab to Fab, and lamppost banners created by the advancement office are being used to help remind students that knowledge isn’t the only thing that they need in life: health is too.

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