Healthy North Dakota: Content: Explore North Dakota

Higher Education leading health initiatives

North Dakota State University (NDSU)

NDSU is connected to the HND initiative through several of its faculty who serve on HND Committees, and through NDSU President Joseph Chapman, Ph.D., and Bradford Strand, Ph.D., Professor and Chair Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences who serve on the HND Advisory Committee.

Four major programs work in concert to address the healthy living needs of the NDSU campus community. Since opening its doors to the campus community in August 2005, the NDSU Wellness Center has supported the academic mission of the University by providing an environment where students may learn and practice behaviors conducive to healthy lifestyles. Wellness, encompassing the mind, body, and spirit, is the common thread of the Center's programs and services.

Wellness Education services and programs support all dimensions of wellness, including physical, social, environmental, occupational, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Services include wellness programming, nutrition counseling and education, counseling, massage therapy, and wellness resources. Under the leadership of a health educator, a team of NDSU students called Wellness Education Leaders (WELS) promote wellness through peer education by increasing awareness of student health issues and by encouraging positive lifestyle choices and decision-making skills. WELS facilitate and participate in special campus health and wellness related activities such as health fairs, brown bag seminars, and recognition events for topics such as AIDS, tobacco, and alcohol, are in demand to make presentations in classrooms, residence halls, and Greek houses.

The Student Health Service is a primary care facility offering integrated professional services to NDSU students including health promotion and disease prevention, health counseling, care during acute and chronic phases of illness, and medical laboratory and pharmacy services.

Fitness Programs provides activity areas including state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength equipment, an indoor track, and a group exercise studio where students, faculty, and staff can meet to address their strength and cardio conditioning needs. Staff and student fitness specialists provide the services including orientation, specialized training, and fitness testing. Approximately 7,000 of the 12,000 enrolled students use the fitness facility. The demand for fitness-related activities and programs has far outstripped available space; consequently, the building of a 72,000 square foot addition to the Wellness Center to accommodate this demand is underway.

Child Care Service A drop-off licensed child care service for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old is provided to NDSU students, faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis. Trained staff and student workers are on hand to properly care for children on a short-term basis while parents participate in campus activities. Plans are underway to expand this service to serve more families.

More information regarding the NDSU Wellness Center.

University of North Dakota (UND)

UND is connected to the HND initiative through UND President Charles Kupchella, one of the founding members of HND. In addition to President Kupchella, Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., director, Center for Rural Health, H. David Wilson, M.D., dean, School of Medicine and Health Science, and James D. Brosseau, M.D., director, Office of Community Medicine serve on the HND Advisory Committee. Several UND faculty serve on other HND Committees.

Embracing wellness in seven dimensions, the UND Wellness Center is enhancing the campus climate for learning and living and enriching the quality of life for its community members. The Wellness Center contributes to meeting UND’s goals of helping in the recruitment and retention of students and providing first-rate facilities, enthusiastic staff, and efficient use of resources.

Construction of a new Student Wellness Center began in August 2004, and will be celebrating its grand opening on August 22, 2006. Meanwhile, the Interim Wellness Center offers a comprehensive fitness facility for students, faculty, and staff with cardiovascular and strength-training machines and equipment, game and exercise facilities; over 19 different fitness classes are offered weekly. The center employs nearly 135 staff, including undergraduate and graduate students. Students in the medical and nursing fields are also offered service-learning opportunities through Center programs including an employee health screening program. Staff members at the Wellness Center contributed to the presentation of three academic classes.

Programming offered through the Student Wellness Center in the past year included wellness programs, activity incentive programs for students and employees, several late-night alcohol-free activities for students, and a diverse RecSports program with thirty-three different informal recreational activities. Services offered at the Center include massage therapy, dietitian services, and a back care clinic.

Over 40 faculty and staff serve as Wellness Ambassadors who connect university departments and the UND Wellness Center. Ambassadors act as both champions of wellness and catalysts for change, and work to motivate their colleagues to achieve healthier lifestyles.

Healthy UND is a coalition, open to all interested people on campus, that provides a forum for communication and coordination of wellness-related activities of various campus groups and individuals. Healthy UND has at least three active task forces meeting to set and reach health-related goals. Over 40 volunteers serve on the Healthy UND Speaker's Bureau, which covers topics in all 7 dimensions of Wellness. In 2005, Healthy UND members actively supported community and state-wide efforts to educate the community on the dangers of second-hand smoke and the need for policy change to protect workers and consumers.

More information regarding the UND Wellness Center and Healthy UND