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Fort Lewis College recognized for creating culture of wellness on campus

Fort Lewis College recognized for creating culture of wellness on campus

Fort Lewis College is one of only 156 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. A group of FLC faculty and current students developed an Exercise Buddy program, taking referrals from the Student Health Center and matching them with a student volunteer who has completed the Exercise Psychology and Exercise Testing & Prescription courses. The volunteer students work with referred students to engage them in physical activity.

The Exercise Buddy program helped FLC earn bronze-level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program. 

“We are excited to receive this bronze designation from the Exercise is Medicine On Campus program,” said Melissa Knight-Maloney, professor of Health Sciences and associate dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “We are one of 156 programs worldwide to receive this designation. Our program is currently small, but we are growing in participation, and we look forward to developing more programs next year.”

Knight-Maloney, Assistant Professor Susumu Iwasaki, Lecturer Jeb Davis, Nurse Practitioner Cate Fenster, and Exercise Physiology majors Abigail Shaw (junior) and Kelvin Benally (senior) are leading the Exercise Buddy program. 

Of the 156 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 60 silver, and 23 bronze. All gold, silver, and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized on June 1 as part of the 2022 Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting.

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and give students the tools to cultivate physical activity habits that will benefit them throughout their lives,” said Robyn Stuhr, vice president of Exercise is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in healthcare.”

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. 

EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts to create a culture of wellness. Schools earn gold, silver, or bronze status based on their activities. Gold-level campuses have created a referral system where campus health care providers assess student physical activity and refer students as necessary to a certified fitness professional as part of medical treatment. Silver campuses engage students, faculty, and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture while bronze level campuses promote and generate awareness of the health benefits of physical activity. 

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