SFU president Andrew Petter and the Health Promotion team. (From left to right: Tara Black, Martin Mroz, Crystal Hutchinson, Rosie Dhaliwal, SFU president Andrew Petter, Alisa Stanton, Tim Rahilly)

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SFU leads innovation in health and well-being

October 31, 2016
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By Wan Yee Lok

Today, SFU and five other universities were the first in Canada to adopt a charter declaring their commitment to embed healthy practices into all aspects of campus culture.

By adopting the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges, SFU is supporting a vision to transform the health and sustainability of our current and future societies, strengthen communities and contribute to the well-being of people, places and the planet.

SFU health promotion associate director, Tara Black, and her team have played an important role in realizing the charter. Black co-chaired an international group that led to its development and is also chairing a new Canadian network to advance the charter and build momentum for healthy campuses across the country.

“It was a true honour to co-lead the development of the Okanagan Charter,” says Black. “I’m proud of the leadership SFU’s Health Promotion team has demonstrated in the health-promoting universities’ movement nationally and internationally.”

SFU is known internationally as a leader for its Healthy Campus Community initiative established in 2010. The University’s health promotion team has won international awards and frequently provides consultation upon request to other universities and colleges, and shapes the direction other institutions take.

“For me, it’s about making SFU a place that thoughtfully considers the well-being of the people who learn, teach and work here,” says Black. It’s about putting people first, and recognizing that we will be better as an institution if we do.”

SFU will activate the charter through the Healthy Campus Community initiative, which encourages cross-campus involvement.

"The Okanagan Charter places well-being at the forefront of a wide range of programs and initiatives to support our university community," says SFU President Andrew Petter. “SFU is proud to be a leader in the development of the Okanagan Charter, realizing our vision of being Canada's most engaged university.”

Interested campus community members are invited to connect with Tara Black (tblack@sfu.ca), or visit www.sfu.ca/healthycampuscommunity.

SFU president Andrew Petter signs the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.