News You Need To Know

We're working hard to build a healthier nation through our academic communities. To help you, we're sharing research, articles and tools to help gain insight into how to best accomplish this goal. Read more:

Academic Wellness Leaders Make Strong Case for Wellness Programs in Higher Ed

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> Online Dating Puts College Students At Risk

> Special Report: The United States of Stress


2019–20 Board of Directors Named

President — Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, The Ohio State University

Secretary—Mary Johnson, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CWP, Meredith College

Treasurer—Brenda F. Seals, PhD, MPH, MA, The College of New Jerssy 

Research and EBP—Mario Ortiz RN; PhD; PHCNS-BC, FNP-C; FNAP, Binghamton University

Advisory Board Chair—Lindsey Nanney, MS, PAPHS, GFS, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Membership Chair—Stacy Connell, MS, Georgia Institute of Technology

Past-President — Megan Amaya, PhD, CHES, The Ohio State University


HealthLead Accreditation to Academic Communities

An innovative wellness accreditation designed to help businesses improve employee health is now moving to encompass work done in academic communities. Leaders from the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities have been trained by the accreditation team at HealthLead on how to evaluate and audit wellness efforts. HealthLead accreditation assessments for academic organizations, including students and faculty/staff will be offered in the months following training.

A product of the Alliance to Make US Healthiest in 2012, HealthLead is modeled on LEED certification, which makes environmental sustainability a business priority. HealthLead provides a similar designation to organizations that consider employee health equally significant.

The HealthLead program uses established guidelines and standards for comprehensive worksite health management. Its assessment examines three areas: organizational engagement and alignment, population health management and well being, and outcomes reporting. Those who are interested in accreditation first apply via an online assessment. They are giving a score, from1–100, based on their answers. A minimum score of 70 is necessary to go further in the process, which entails an in-person audit from HealthLead-trained professionals. “Academic institutions can choose to have all (e.g., faculty/staff and student) or part of their program evaluated (e.g., sudent only),” said George Pfeiffer, a creator of the HealthLead program.

Those who are invited to be audited are expected to share a presentation that details their efforts, followed by an in-depth tour of their facilities. From there, auditors do what Pfeiffer calls a ‘drill down.’ There, HealthLead probes for more information, reconciling what was reported online and with what was observed in the site visit. The team then creates a final score of 1–100, based on series of measures.

Once the on-site evaluation has been completed, there are three levels of accreditation that can be awarded. Scores greater than 92 earn a gold accreditation. Scores between 84–92 earn silver; scores of 75–83 earn bronze. All audited organizations, whether earning accreditation or not, receive a blueprint for action and a one-hour phone conference to discuss their attributes, deficits and possible strategies for further improvement.

Previous organizations that have participated in the HealthLead process include the Target Corporation, ING DIRECT, Intel, and The Ohio State University.