UCSF Gets American Heart Association Award as Fit-Friendly Employer

UCSF employees get free massages at a wellness event.

UCSF employees enjoyed free massages at a recent wellness event, one of the programs and services the University offers to promote health and well-being.

UCSF has been recognized with a gold-level award by the American Heart Association for its efforts to encourage employees to adopt healthy behaviors.

The American Heart Association's Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program is a catalyst for positive change in the workplace. Employers throughout the nation can be part of the Start! initiative by demonstrating progressive leadership by making the health and wellness of their employees a priority. 

"We are extremely honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association’s Start! initiative as a Gold Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company," says Tracey Gearlds, director of Programs & Services of Campus Life Services. "Physical activity and employee wellness are very important priorities here at UCSF and we encourage all of our employees to participate in our ongoing wellness programs." 

UCSF was recognized by the American Heart Association’s initiative for providing a work environment that:

  • Promotes a smoke-free campus (Visit Living Well at UCSF sponsored, www.quitnow.net to get all the help to quit smoking for free)
  • Offers employees physical activities, such as the walking program at several locations
  • Provides healthy eating options at the worksite, like the weekly Farmer's Markets at Parnassus and Mission Bay
  • Promotes a wellness culture through ongoing programs and services
  • Implements at least nine criteria as outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.

In October alone, UCSF’s wellness program, Living Well at UCSF, which is supported by the Chancellor's office, served more than 1,500 employees in various wellness activities and programs, including the walking program, Zumba and Yoga classes, Biggest Winner program, lunch time wellness lectures and wellness snack hour.

For more information about how to incorporate more wellness into your day, visit livingwell.ucsf.edu.

Photo by Susan Merrell