October 09, 2019
C. Everett Koop Award recognizes outstanding worksite wellness programs

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University was honored with a national C. Everett Koop Award honorable mention for the breadth and effectiveness of its health and wellness initiatives.

The Koop Awards, which are granted by the Health Project, recognize worksite health promotion and improvement programs with documented results, both in effectiveness and economic impact. Criteria include improving population health by helping people change unhealthy behaviors and reducing health risks, establishing a culture of health and offering good value for the investment in these programs. Ohio State was one of only seven institutions nationally – and the only university – to earn an honorable mention award this year.

The Health Project is a not-for-profit corporation formed to bring about critical attitudinal and behavioral changes in addressing the health and well-being of Americans. Its mission is to seek out, evaluate, promote and disseminate the lessons learned from exemplary health promotion and disease prevention programs with demonstrated effectiveness in influencing personal health habits and cost-effective use of health care resources.

“This wonderful honor confirms that we are on the right track in promoting health and well-being across Buckeye Nation,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing. “We are building great momentum in our efforts to make Ohio State the healthiest campus in the world, and it starts with creating a wellness culture and incorporating evidence-based programs that get results.”

As the National Academy of Medicine highlighted in its groundbreaking case study released this summer about Ohio State’s efforts around well-being, Ohio State calculates a cumulative productivity net savings of more than $15 million from wellness programming, as well as a $3.65 return on investment for every dollar invested in wellness. Additional impacts include improvements in cardiovascular health; decreases in pre-diabetes, depression and anxiety; and increases in healthy lifestyle behaviors and academics among students, faculty and staff.

Melnyk and Megan Amaya, PhD, director of health promotion and wellness at the College of Nursing, accepted the award on Ohio State’s behalf at the 2019 HERO Forum hosted by the Health Enhancement Research Organization in Portland, Oregon.

March 26, 2018

Open house planned for April 2, 2018

Ohio State Lima students, employees and dependents will now have access to onsite healthcare in the Student Services Center on campus through the Ohio State Total Health and Wellness at Lima health center, utilizing telehealth equipment connected to the Columbus campus.

The media and interested community members are welcome to an open house to celebrate the grand opening from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday, April 2, 2018. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and short program will be held at 11 a.m. in the west end of the Student Services Center. Jessica Campbell, RN, will be onsite to answer questions, and the telehealth equipment will be available for demonstrations.

“Onsite healthcare adds another dimension of health and wellness to the Ohio State Lima campus,” said Interim Dean and Director Joseph Brandesky. “Our students and employees now come from more than half of the 88 counties in Ohio. Some of them drive long distances or those living near campus are a fair distance from their primary healthcare providers. The facility provides a means for them to address day-to-day health concerns.” 

With Ohio State Total Health and Wellness at Lima, the Ohio State College of Nursing will offer a nurse-practitioner-led comprehensive primary-care practice as part of a pilot program that takes a telehealth approach to health and wellness. 

“We are so excited to bring primary-care health services to Lima through our nurse practitioner-led facility,” said Ohio State College of Nursing Dean Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, who also serves Ohio State as vice president for health promotion and chief wellness officer. “Our team approach to care benefits patients in many ways by focusing treatment on the whole person.”

Ohio State Total Health and Wellness at Lima offers an interprofessional team approach to integrated physical and mental healthcare for students, employees and their dependents. A registered nurse will be available on-site and a certified nurse practitioner will be accessible through a remote telecommunications system. 

“Offering telehealth services gives us a wonderful opportunity to extend our primary care services and provide that team approach to healthcare,” said Candy Rinehart, DNP, FNP, ADM-BC, FAANP, executive director of Advanced Practice and Community Partnership, nurse practitioner and director of Ohio State Total Health and Wellness at Ohio State Hospitals East. “In addition to family nurse practitioners, we can access mental health nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers and other providers to support total patient care. Exams and conversations will take place in real time, with our registered nurse serving as our hands in the clinic, and the nurse practitioner in Columbus providing direction for both the exam and treatment.”

The new facility will be located in the west end of the Student Services Center. Renovations to a conference room have resulted in space for an examining room, office and storage area. The state-of-the-art telehealth equipment will allow the nurse practitioner and the patient to interact much like they would in person. What the onsite registered nurse sees as she conducts an exam in Lima is instantly available to the nurse practitioner in Columbus.

Ohio State Total Health and Wellness at Lima will be open 15 hours a week. Services will include health and wellness screenings, education and vaccines, physical exams, evidence-based management of new health problems or complaints, contraception counseling and management, integration of mental health services to complement Ohio State Lima’s Counseling and Consultation Services and healthy lifestyle programs. Patients are seen by appointment only. Please call 567-242-6546 to schedule a visit.

Ohio State Lima is the first regional campus to offer telehealth through the three-year pilot program funded and administered through the College of Nursing. Future plans call for Ohio State Total Health and Wellness facilities using telehealth technology at all of Ohio State’s regional campuses.

January 25, 2017

The Ohio State University Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron, along with Sheldon M. Retchin, MD, MSPH, executive vice president of health sciences and CEO of the Wexner Medical Center, announced today the recommended reappointment of Bernadette M. Melnyk, PHD, RN, CPNP, as dean of the College of Nursing and university chief wellness officer, effective immediately and subject to approval of the university board of trustees. In addition, they recommended a promotion from associate vice president for health promotion to vice president for health promotion. Her appointment will continue through December 2022.


Their announcement included a brief overview of her accomplishments: Under Dean Melnyk’s leadership, the College of Nursing developed a new, five-year strategic plan. This plan advanced the college in several important ways, including more than doubling its growth in graduate enrollment, adding 40 new faculty members and establishing three new interprofessional degrees. In addition, the College of Nursing more than tripled its But for Ohio State campaign goal, including a $6.5 million gift to establish the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-based Practice. The college also strengthened its financial base and earned a significant rise in both U.S. News & World Report and NIH-funding rankings.


Melnyk created Ohio State’s One University Health & Wellness Council, which generates and oversees the university’s strategic wellness plan to become the world’s healthiest university. She also chaired the first National Summit for Building Healthy Universities with more than 300 leaders from 93 Universities. In addition, she founded the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities, a growing national organization with representation of more than 40 universities. She served as the consortium’s first president, with Ohio State as its administrative home.


Prior to joining Ohio State’s faculty in 2011, Melnyk served as dean and distinguished foundation professor in nursing at Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation. She is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Nursing, the National Academies of Practice and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and earned a BS from West Virginia University, an MS from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD from the University of Rochester.


November 09, 2015

Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE) program has positive effects that last at least a year after completion

Schools can significantly improve the long-term physical and mental health of teens by implementing cognitive behavioral skills-building into already existing high-school health curriculums, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR) and published in the December issues of the Journal of School Health.

The article reports that 12 months after completing the COPE Healthy Lifestyles Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition (TEEN) Program, students had markedly lower body mass index than students who received a more standard health curriculum. Additionally, COPE teens who began the program with extremely elevated depression had symptoms in the normal range after 12 months.

COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN teaches adolescents that how they think is directly related to how they feel and behave. It also teaches them how to turn negative beliefs triggered by “activating events” into positive beliefs so that they feel better emotionally and engage in healthy behaviors. The program is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with an emphasis on skills-building.

The lead author of the article is COPE creator Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion, chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. Melnyk is also a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Ohio State’s College of Medicine.

“CBT is the gold-standard treatment for depression and anxiety, but it has traditionally been used in one-on-one, hour-long therapy sessions,” said Melnyk, who began developing the program more than 20 years ago as a pediatric and psychiatric nurse practitioner. “With COPE, I’ve created a tool that can be used by any health professional or educator so they can teach cognitive behavior skills to adolescents. This is huge for schools or community centers. We can really make positive impacts on teens’ lives by teaching these skills to them.”

This study was aimed at evaluating the long-term efficacy of COPE. A total of 779 high-school students aged 14 to 16 in the southwestern United States participated in the study. Half attended a control class that covered standard health topics such as road safety, dental care and immunizations. The others were enrolled in the COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN program.

Health teachers were provided a full-day workshop on COPE and how to teach the program. The classroom curriculum blends cognitive-behavioral skills sessions with nutrition lessons and 20 minutes of physical activity, such as dancing, walking or kick-boxing movements.

The 12-month follow-up evaluation after the COPE program showed a significant decrease in the proportion of overweight and obese teens. Only 4.8 percent of COPE teens moved into the overweight category compared to 10 percent of the control group, Healthy Teens, who moved to either overweight or obese. None of the COPE teens moved to the obese category.  Further, COPE teens who were on public assistance had a significant decline in body mass percentile following the intervention than teens on public assistance who were on public assistance.

A particularly important finding, Melnyk said, was that COPE students who began the study with severely elevated depressive symptoms had significantly lower depressive scores that fell into the normal range than the Healthy Teens students at 12 months post-intervention.

“Because the majority of adolescents with depression do not receive treatment, and even fewer receive CBT, it is vital that we provide them the tools and ability to engage in positive thinking and employ effective coping,” she said. “The feedback from the teens during the open-ended evaluations included hundreds of comments specifically indicating that the COPE program helped them deal effectively with stress and anger as well as to feel better about themselves.”

This latest article reflects a continuation of positive results from COPE.

In 2013, Melnyk published an article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examining immediate and six-month outcomes of COPE. Those results showed increased physical activity, decreased BMI, higher grades, better scores in cooperation, assertion and academic competence – as rated by teachers – and lower alcohol use.

Melnyk said next steps should include implementation of COPE into health curricula across the country. Because a variety of professionals can learn the program, she hopes to see widespread use in schools, community centers and youth organizations to help teens lead healthier, happier lives and perform better academically.

The NIH/NINR supported this research.

The article notes that overweight/obesity and mental health disorders are significant public health problems that threaten health outcomes and academic performance of United States teens. Approximately 17 percent of U.S. youth is obese and 15 percent is overweight, according to research cited by Melnyk.

Additionally, 15 million U.S. youth have a mental-health problem that interferes with functioning at home or school, but fewer than 25 percent receive treatment, and even fewer receive CBT.

April 28, 2015

The National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities (BHAC) has challenged colleges and universities across the United States to take action and make a difference in the health and wellness of their campuses.

During the National Consortium, held April 23-24 at the University of California, Irvine, leaders from more than 90 universities and institutions heard from internationally renowned experts on evidence-based developments in health and wellness. Topics included the science of happiness, physical activity, evidence-based approaches to improving population health in academic settings, public policy regarding food and eating choices and ending illness.

“We are confident [that] the high-caliber speakers at the Summit, combined with the high-energy wellness and fitness activities, left everyone energized and ready to take action at their own institutions,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, president of the National Consortium, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, dean and professor of the College of Nursing and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry in the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University.

“We know how vital it is to enhance health and wellness in the workplace — it leads to reduced healthcare costs, insurance premiums, and most importantly, healthier and more engaged employees. However, very few academic institutions have implemented a comprehensive, integrated approach to health and wellness that addresses the entire academic population. We in academia have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of our students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities.”

In addition to Melnyk, speakers at the Summit included one of the world’s leading cancer doctors and New York Times bestselling author David B. Agus; nationally renowned researcher on childhood exercise, obesity and diabetes and professor and chair of pediatrics at UC Irvine Dan M. Cooper; president and CEO of Resource for Advancing Children's Health (REACH) Peter Jensen; author, happiness researcher and professor of psychology at UC Riverside Sonja Lyubomirsky; and consumer advocate, nutritionist and award-winning author and academic Marion Nestle.

Earlier this year, universities across the country were invited to participate in the inaugural BHAC National Wellness Challenge to promote health and wellness and to gather fun, creative and effective wellness programs to highlight and share. Winners were announced at the Summit:

  • First place: The College of New Jersey’s Breathe In, Breathe Out promotion of meditation-related activities
  • Second place (tie): Dartmouth College’s Uplift It initiative and UC Irvine’s Fuel Up February
  • Third place: University of Florida Couch to 5K program

Videos produced as part of the challenge will be posted at healthyacademics.org.

Before the Summit, the new BHAC held its first board meeting. The board confirmed its mission: “To equip academic institutions with evidence-based strategies and resources to improve population health and well-being of faculty, staff, students, alumni and the communities they serve.”

Melnyk also encouraged colleges and universities to become institutional members in BHAC to play a key role in improving the lives of more than 33 million faculty, staff and students across the country. Visit healthyacademics.org for information on becoming a member.

“Academia is fertile ground to enhance health and wellness,” Melnyk said. “Please join us in this vital effort to help our communities become healthier and more engaged.”

April 02, 2015

Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, was part of an expert panel during a recent workshop aimed at exploring how healthcare reform can serve to promote children’s behavioral health.

Opportunities to Promote Children’s Behavioral Health: Health Care Reform and Beyond was held April 1-2 in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by the Forum on Promoting Children’s Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Health – part of the Institute of Medicine. Melnyk, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University, was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2013.

The Affordable Care Act has brought attention to health promotion, prevention and access to evidence-based care. These principles are especially important during childhood, when the foundation is laid for lifelong health and well-being. This workshop explores how healthcare reform can provide opportunities and support innovations to promote children’s behavioral health and sustain them over time. Funding streams, intermediary organizations and innovative programs and services will be considered. The workshop format is designed to stimulate discussion among experts, forum members and the audience and to enhance future collaborations.

December 15, 2014

The National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities (BHAC) has elected its first board of directors, a historic move in the effort to revolutionize the culture of health and wellness at colleges and universities, Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University and new Consortium president, announced today.

“I cannot express how excited I am to be working with this amazing group of wellness experts,” said Melnyk. “It is a privilege to be part of a groundbreaking team that is transforming health and wellness of academic communities nationwide.”

Melnyk envisioned and led the founding of the National Consortium, a group of public and private academic institutions dedicated to crafting a comprehensive framework that enriches the health and wellness of students, faculty and staff. The consortium was founded after the inaugural BHAC National Summit in April 2013, which was held at Ohio State.

The second BHAC National Summit will be April 23-24 at the University of California, Irvine. The Summit will convene leaders and nationally recognized authorities in health and wellness to highlight and share best practices in promoting and sustaining wellness, with tracks focused on best practices and evidence-based programming, creating cultures of wellness, marketing and communication for engagement and mental and emotional well-being.

“We in academia have a unique opportunity to affect the lives of our students, faculty and staff. Our collaborative voices, ideas and expertise can help set the national agenda for health and wellness along with generating and disseminating evidence to support best practices and influence policy,” Melnyk said.

Full biographies of the Consortium officers can be found here.

President: Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, is associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. She also is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry in the College of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized expert in evidence-based practice, health and wellness, mental health and intervention research and is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences on these topics. Her scholarship record includes over $19 million of sponsored funding from federal agencies as principal investigator and over 250 publications, including four books. She served a four-year term on the 16-member United States Preventive Services Task Force and currently serves as a member of the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Behavioral Health Standing Committee and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Advisory Council for nursing research. In addition, she is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine. She has successfully led collaborative national initiatives and has served as president of a national organization.

President-Elect: Megan Amaya, PhD, CHES, AFAA, is the director of health promotion and wellness at The Ohio State University. She is president of the Society of Public Health Educators Ohio Chapter and steering team member for the central region Healthy Ohio Business Council. She is a certified health-education specialist, a certified personal trainer and a certified group fitness instructor. Amaya has been instrumental in the launching of the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities. She coordinated the 2013 National BHAC Summit and the Ohio BHAC Summit in 2014. Amaya is also a member of the planning committee for the 2015 National Summit.

Secretary: Carole Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN, is dean of the College of New Jersey School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science, which encompasses nutrition, wellness, fitness, strength and conditioning. She is executive director and secretary of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses, Inc. and past president of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN). Kenner served as secretary on the board of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and is now co-chair of The College of New Jersey Healthy Campus Program Council.  She was instrumental in starting a wellness center at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing. Kenner has over 30 years of experience in higher education.  

Treasurer Chair: Karen Moses, PhD, RD, CHES, is the director of ASU Wellness at Arizona State University. She has provided leadership in ASU health promotion initiatives, programs and services, using both individual and environmental approaches to promote health and wellness among college students for 25 years. Recognized as a leader in college health promotion, Moses is a frequent speaker at college health and student affairs professional conferences and has been consultant to other institutions of higher education to guide their healthy campus initiatives and health promotion programs. She has served in many elected and appointed positions of national associations, including the American College Health Association, Pacific Coast College Health Association, National Network Addressing Collegiate Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). She co-chaired the committee that developed the Healthy Campus 2010 Objectives for the American College Health Association, helped develop the standards of practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education and helped to found the NASPA Health Promotion Knowledge Community. She was previously president of the Arizona Dietetic Association.

Marketing Chair: Angie Brown is the communications manager for the University of Florida’s Office of Human Resources. She has worked in higher education public relations for more than 20 years, having previously served in communication roles at Penn State University and Oregon Health & Science University.  At the University of Florida, Brown manages several UF websites and oversees other UF online and print publicity materials. She is editor of "The InfoGator," UF’s faculty and staff e-newsletter, which reaches more than 14,000 employees. She also facilitates internal change management efforts for the university, providing strategic communication planning and execution for units including the Office of Research, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and UF Information Technology. In addition to her work on the UF-UF Health Wellness Committee, Brown has twice served as publicity officer for the UF Association for Academic Women and serves on the Public Relations Subcommittee of the UF President’s Council on Diversity.

Research & EBP Chair: Marcelle Holmes, PhD, is assistant vice chancellor of wellness, health & counseling services at UC Irvine, where she oversees the Counseling Center, Student Health Center, Disability Services Center, Campus Recreation, Health Education, Career Center, Campus Assault Resources & Education (CARE) and Office of the Campus Social Worker. She came to UC Irvine from Pomona College, where she served as associate dean of students and dean of women. Holmes is a licensed clinical psychologist in California, and has worked in a variety of settings, including private practice, at college counseling centers and as assistant professor of psychology and black studies at Pomona College. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Association of Blacks in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Membership Chair: Colleen Harshbarger, MS, is the director of the Office of Wellness & Health Promotion with WELL WVU: The Student’s Center of Health and an adjunct faculty member in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences at West Virginia University. She is a certified wellness practitioner with the National Wellness Institute, a certified wellness coach from WellPeople and holds a certificate in Alcohol Prevention Leadership from NASPA and EverFi. Harshbarger has been studying and teaching yoga for over 20 years and is registered with Yoga Alliance at the ERYT-500 level.

Advisory Board Chair: Cassandra Kitko, MBA, CHES, IC, is the manager of health initiatives in Penn State’s Office of Human Resources’ Employee Benefits Division. Prior to working at Penn State, she planned and delivered worksite wellness programs. Kitko is president of the local school district and a member of her parish council and finance committee.

BHAC founding institutions include Arizona State University, Bucknell University, Dartmouth College, East Carolina University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Iowa State University, Medical University of South Carolina, Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University, Penn State University, The College of New Jersey, University of California, Irvine, University of Florida, Virgina Tech and West Virginia University.

More information: healthyacademics.org

November 16, 2014

The Ohio State University is among the first schools to join the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier, in a three-year commitment to make its campus healthier by adopting guidelines around food and nutrition, physical activity and programming. 

“We are excited to be one of the first universities to join Partnership for a Healthier America in promoting health and wellness on college campuses,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing. “At Ohio State, we are very committed to our vision of becoming the healthiest university in the world, and our new partnership with PHA is one strategy that will help us achieve that goal.”

The announcement was made Sunday, Nov. 16, at the American Public Health Association (APHA)’s 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition. PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative includes 19 other colleges and universities, collectively impacting more than 500,000 students and 126,000 faculty and staff.

“Colleges and universities are in a unique position to help shape tomorrow’s leaders, whether they are teachers, coaches, policymakers, CEOs, moms or dads,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We know that going to college is a time of change for many students—we also know that means it’s a time when new habits are formed. By creating healthier food and physical activity environments today, campuses and universities are encouraging healthier habits that will carry over into tomorrow.”

Ohio State has agreed to implement the following guidelines over the next three years:

Food and nutrition

Ohio State will implement the following food and nutrition guidelines:

Provide healthier food and beverage services in campus-operated dining venues every operational day.

  1. Offer on the menu a minimum of one wellness meal at each breakfast, lunch and dinner meal (if served).
  2. Offer a minimum of five types of fruits, five types of vegetables and two 100-percent whole grain products at both lunch and dinner (if served).
  3. Offer only a total number of fried foods that does not exceed the total number of platforms available at both lunch and dinner (if served) across all venues.
  4. Offer and identify as healthier at point of presentation at least three desserts at both lunch and dinner (if served) that have less than or equal to 150 calories as served.
  5. Ensure the percentage of healthier beverage purchase (in dollars) is a minimum of 60 percent of total beverage purchases (in dollars).
  6. Identify food and beverage items using one of the following strategies:
  7. Label food and beverage items offered with calories per serving at the point of presentation.


Designate healthier food and beverage options using a health icon at point of presentation.

  1. Implement a comprehensive, strategic product placement/merchandising program/policy within dining venues to encourage healthier food consumption. The program/policy will include a minimum of five strategies, one of which is:
  2. Offer only healthier food and beverage options within five feet of payment stations.
  3. Offer a plant-based food option at every platform serving meat.

Implement local food or sustainability program in campus food service:

  1. Implement a local food procurement program that increases procurement of local and sustainable foods.
  2. Offer tray-less dining as the default system in at least 75 percent of dining venues.

Provide healthier vending options on campus:

  1. Ensure that a minimum of 50 percent of vending machines offer only healthier food and beverage products or 50 percent of each vending machine content is healthier food and beverage products.
  2. Provide healthier catering services on campus.
  3. Offer one of the following healthier catering menu options:
  4. Offer a minimum of three types of fruits, three types of vegetables, two 100 percent whole grain products and no more than two fried items on catering menus.


Ensure the percentage of healthier beverage purchases (in dollars) is a minimum of 60 percent of total beverage purchases (in dollars) for catering.

Promote water consumption on campus:

Make free water available in all dining venues and all educational/physical activity facilities.

Provide trained food and nutrition professionals on campus:

Make available registered dietitian nutritionists for personal nutrition assessments and counseling to all students.

Physical activity/movement

Ohio State will implement the following physical activity/movement guidelines:

Create a built environment that encourages healthier choices on campus:

  1. Provide marked walking routes on campus, one of which must be at least two miles in length and have distance markers at regular intervals. A route map is made available to individuals on campus.
  2. Post signage requiring cars to stop for pedestrians at all designated or marked crosswalks on campus.
  3. Provide at least one bicycle parking space on campus for every 15 individuals on campus.
  4. Offer a bicycle share/rental program and/or a subsidized bicycle purchase program for all students.
  5. Provide designated bicycle lanes on major roads and/or offer off-street bicycle paths throughout campus.
  6. Implement a bicycle and pedestrian accommodation policy, and/or participate in a national bicycle or pedestrian recognition program.
  7. Implement a campus-wide program/policy that incentivizes the use of public or campus provided transportation.

Encourage student physical activity/movement through facilities and programs on campus during the academic year:

  1. Provide, without a user fee, 16 hours per day access to at least one fitness/recreation center for all students.
  2. Offer a minimum of 20 diverse recreation, physical activity/movement or competitive sports opportunities during each academic year.
  3. Offer, without a user fee, a minimum of one monthly “how to” physical activity/movement class that introduces students to new activities.
  4. Offer at least one organized and facilitated 15 minute physical activity/movement opportunity break on each school day.
  5. Offer, without a user fee, both:

Fitness/recreation center orientation during the first semester for all incoming students and one fitness assessment to all students each academic year.

Encourage outdoor physical activity/movement on campus:

  1. Provide at least one running/walking track that is open and available for use to individuals on campus and the community for at least three hours per day.
  2. Provide an outdoor fitness system.
  3. Offer at least one free, organized and facilitated, outdoor physical activity/movement opportunity each week.
  4. Offer a rental outdoor recreation equipment program for students.

Provide trained physical activity/movement professionals on campus:

Make available certified personal trainers for all students.


Ohio State will implement the following check programming guidelines:

  1. Implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus that is provided annually. The program will include all of the following components:
  2. A coordinating committee that includes student, faculty, administrative and staff representatives and meets at least quarterly.
  3. Health and wellness education and activities for all individuals with disabilities.
  4. A promotion plan to market the wellness program through at least one online venue and three physical venues on campus.
  5. Provision of annual physical activity/movement and nutrition training for all resident assistants to help them inform students about campus resources available for wellness.

Offer other wellness programs on campus:

  1. Implement a mandatory health and wellness education online module to be completed by all incoming first year or transfer students, upon registering with the college or university.
  2. Implement a program/policy that identifies students who may be food insecure and provides options on campus.
  3. Implement a program/policy that supports and accommodates breastfeeding for mothers on campus.
  4. Implement a service-learning program available to all students that focuses on food and nutrition, physical activity/movement and/or coaching.
  5. Offer a rewards-on-benefits structured program that gives insurance premium discounts and/or rebates to individuals on campus who participate in a wellness program designated by the health insurer on campus.
  6. Offer non-academic cooking skills classes that are available to all students.

For more information on PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, visit ahealthieramerica.org/campuses.

The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 64,000 students (including 58,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit HealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

July 18, 2014

Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing, has been appointed to the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Behavioral Health Standing Committee.

The NQF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership-based organization that works to catalyze improvements in healthcare. Its working groups and committees foster quality improvement in both public- and private-sector, endorse consensus standards for performance measurement and ensure that consistent, high-quality performance measures are publicly available. NQF endorsement is the "gold standard" for healthcare quality. NQF-endorsed measures are evidence-based and valid and in tandem with the delivery of care and payment reform.

In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 26.4 percent of the population suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. These disorders, which can include serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders and depression, are associated with poor health outcomes, increased costs and premature death. By 2020, behavioral health disorders are expected to surpass all physical diseases as the leading cause of disability worldwide.

The NQF's Behavioral Health Standing Committee, comprised of experts in the field of mental/behavioral health, evaluates newly submitted measures and measures undergoing maintenance review and makes recommendations for which measures should be endorsed as consensus standards. This committee works to identify and endorse new performance measures for accountability and quality improvement that specifically address care coordination. Measures including outcomes, treatments, diagnostic studies, interventions or procedures associated with these conditions. Additionally, the committee evaluates consensus standards previously endorsed by NQF under the maintenance process.

April 10, 2014

Health science experts and students from The Ohio State University will travel the state this month to teach healthy lifestyle behaviors, specifically geared to the prevention of heart attacks and strokes as part of the Department of Health & Human Services’ Million Hearts® Initiative.

Buckeye Wellness on Wheels (WOW) will offer free health screenings to community members in Wooster, Cleveland and Mansfield during the first health-focused bus tour of the state. The programs will include blood-pressure checks, body mass index, stress and nutrition assessments and wellness education.

Free healthy snacks and refreshments will be provided.

“So many people wait until a crisis to change their attitudes about lifestyles and healthy lifestyle behaviors. By bringing Buckeye Wellness on Wheels out into Ohio, we hope to show our state that making even just one healthy lifestyle change can help everyone live longer, happier lives,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer, and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University.

WOW activities are set for:

  • April 17: Wooster, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wooster Community Center, 241 Bever St.
  • April 17: Cleveland (Euclid) 4-7 p.m., Euclid Lakefront Community Center, One Bliss Lane
  • April 18:  Mansfield, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Longview Center, 1495 W. Longview Ave.

Buckeye WOW is sponsored by The Ohio State University Colleges of Education and Human Ecology, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health, as well as the Office of Outreach and Engagement, the Ohio State University Alumni Association and OSU Extension.

Students and faculty from the above colleges and offices will be on the WOW bus tour.

Million Hearts is a nationwide initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aimed at preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Ohio State’s health sciences community encompasses seven colleges and numerous medical facilities whose clinicians, researchers and educators have improved the lives of people and animals for more than a century using the best scientific evidence. Regional, national and international partnerships extend our impact across the state and around the world.