SMU Honored as a Gold Level “Start! Fit-Friendly University” by the Heart Association

The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program serves as a catalyst for positive change in American business. Organizations nationwide can be part of the Start! initiative by demonstrating progressive leadership in making the health and wellness of their employees a priority.


SMU was recognized for the second year in a row as a Gold Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association’s Start! initiative for fulfilling the following parameters:

* Offer employees physical activity support
* Provide/increase healthy eating options at the worksite
* Promote a wellness culture
* Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas   of physical activity, nutrition, and culture

We are honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Gold Level Start! Fit-Friendly University for the second year in a row. SMU continues its effort to create a culture of wellness for our employees and we encourage participation in a wide variety of wellness programs and services,” said Lorea Belle Seidel, Associate Director of Human Resources.

Wellness Programs at SMU

The Wellpower program is offered at no cost to benefit-eligible staff and faculty and offers three levels of awards based on achievement within the program. Wellpower emphasizes wellness in three dimensions: body, mind, and spirit, and the program encourages employees to take advantage of the many resources offered throughout the University. Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports partners with Wellpower to bring staff and faculty free group fitness classes, affordable access to a state-of-the-art facility, as well as a wide variety of low-cost, but high impact services including personal training, water aerobics, group exercise classes, and fitness testing. For more information on Wellpower, visit or sign up for an orientation session this spring.

Don’t forget! SMU is currently offering free on-campus screenings provided by Baylor Health System. The final day of screenings is January 31. In addition, applications for the Naturally Slim program are being taken until February 3, 2012.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, SMU’s medical plan provider, also hosts a variety of helpful programs and services aimed at improving the wellness of our staff and faculty. Programs include the Personal Health manager website that allows members to earn “blue points” while tracking their eating, fitness, and wellness habits, 24-hour access to a nurse by phone, the Blues Extra discount program where members get discounts on Jenny Craig, Lifetime Fitness, a variety of alternative complementary health programs and more. Login to your BCBSTX account to get started.

Questions about wellness programs at SMU? Email us at





About Lorea Seidel

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