UCLA has launched an integrated, campus-wide effort to promote healthy lifestyle choices and develop best practices that may help other communities seeking to do the same. The UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative, envisioned and supported by philanthropists Jane and Terry Semel, prioritizes the health and wellness of students, staff and faculty.
“Live Well” is the nickname of UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative: a campus-wide wellness movement with the goal of making UCLA the healthiest university campus in America.
The idea is simple:
- Begin on the ground, integrating the various arrays of existing health-related groups, programs, and activities the campus already has to offer
- Utilize UCLA’s cutting-edge research on wellness to create new approaches and programs
A “healthy campus” is a place that:
1. Fosters High Level Wellness by maximizing the potential of individuals to improve their health
2. Encourages Personal Responsibility by creating an environment that facilitates healthy living, while insuring that individuals are free to define health as they choose and insisting that there are no overt or covert “punishments” for those who chose not to participate
3. Respects Diversity by understanding that health and wellness are concepts that are frequently defined differently by people of varying ages, races, ethnicities, religions, social classes, genders, etc.
4. Strives to Reduce Inequities in Health by making the campus community aware of existing health disparities and creating interventions that reduce or eliminate them whenever possible
5. Is Integrative in acknowledging that body, mind, and spirit each has the potential to influence the other, and accepting that health and wellness emerge from the interaction of individuals and the physical and social/communal environments they inhabit.
It all started at dinner. What is now known as the Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) emerged from conversations between UCLA administrators, faculty, donors, and foundation leaders. The vision and generosity of Jane and Terry Semel allowed the idea to become a reality. Professor Michael Goldstein from the Fielding School of Public Health was asked to take on the role of Associate Vice-Provost and also assembled a “sponsorship group” of campus leaders to discuss how the effort might be best organized. Live Well as it stands today is a result of these efforts.
Michael S. Goldstein, PhD
MICHAEL S. GOLDSTEIN, PhD is Professor of Public Health (Community Health Sciences) in the Fielding School of Public Health, and Associate Vice-Provost in charge for the Healthy Campus Initiative. His interests have focused on self-help, self-care, and the use of alternative and integrative medicine. He is the author of over 75 publications in these areas including two books: The Health Movement: Promoting Fitness in America (Twayne/Simon and Shuster 1992), and Alternative Health Care: Medicine, Miracle, or Mirage? (Temple University Press, 1999.) Dr. Goldstein is among the founders of UCLA’s Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and has served as a consultant on building healthy communities for many colleges and universities as well as organizations such as the YMCAs of the USA. His current research involves the integration of providers of complementary medicine into conventional health care systems.
The creation of the Healthy Campus Initiative indicates the determination of UCLA’s leadership to make health and wellness a core value of the institution. UCLA is a beautiful, complex, and highly diverse community— the elements of what is created here can be useful in building healthy communities beyond our own campus. But all of this begins with you!
Make a personal commitment to wellness, share your ideas, and get involved. Let’s Live Well, together.
Click here to visit the UCLA Live Well website for more resources.
Click here to see the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative feature in the UCLA Newsroom.