W&M receives Williamsburg Health Foundation award for wellness efforts

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whf-png-contentThe Williamsburg Health Foundation presented William & Mary’s Division of Student Affairs with the 2016 Williamsburg Health Foundation Award for its work to create an integrated, comprehensive system of wellness programs for students and all campus community members.

Instead of a traditional, medical model of health, the university now considers health in eight dimensions that together create overall well-being. These dimensions include social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial and occupational health.

“Reshaping systems like those that have existed for decades around student health requires both vision and determination. The foundation honors William & Mary for the important challenge it has undertaken. There is nothing easy about addressing well-being in many dimensions,” said Williamsburg Health Foundation President and CEO Jeanne Zeidler. “It would have been easier for the university just to stick to approaches like ‘get rest, exercise and eat right.’”

If people aren’t well, they — and those around them — can’t do their best work, said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley.

“So, wellness is crucially important to the functioning and the high morale of the university,” he said.

Virginia M. Ambler, Vice President for Student Affairs, noted that student well-being is the foundation for success both in academics and life.

“We recognized that there was a lot that we could do to support students in living well during their time at the college,” she said.

Jeffery O. Smith, chair of the Williamsburg Health Foundation’s board of trustees, said the organization believes that “William & Mary’s work is creating a model that will improve the health of Greater Williamsburg and those who live in it.”

He added, “We believe that the university’s work will help to create future leaders who understand that health and well-being are complex issues. Real, meaningful health cannot be achieved without the right opportunities to live a healthy life. William & Mary provides students with those opportunities and much more.”

The Williamsburg Health Foundation is a private foundation that seeks to improve the health of those living in Greater Williamsburg. The vision of the foundation is, “Individuals making healthy choices in a community with health opportunity for all.”