Wellness grant received to implement smoking cessation project

Rebecca Carvalho

This week, senior Jasmine Peters-McClashie received the Adopt-A-Student wellness grant from the Well City Fox Cities program for a project on smoking cessation.

The grant was presented to McClashie and the Wellness Committee during the Well City Fox Cities Celebration dinner held in the Warch Campus Center Thursday, April 14. Associate Director of Human Resources and Employee Wellness Coordinator Patty Leiker and senior Kelsey Cavanagh-Strong spoke about the award and encouraged students to become more engaged in helping the community.

The Well City Fox Cities project was initiated May 2010. Since then many local businesses, organizations and schools have joined the program to work towards creating a “Well City.” Milwaukee is currently the only Well City in Wisconsin.

Leiker explained, “The process to achieve the Well City designation must be complete within 3 years, or in the case of Well City Fox Cities, by May 31, 2013.” The concept of a Well City was created in 1991 by the Wellness Council of America, a non-profit organization aiming at promoting health and wellness.

Said Leiker, “Well City challenges local business communities to work together toward building healthier communities, starting in the workplace. Achieving Well City designation requires that 20 percent of a community’s working population must be employed by Well Workplace Award-winning companies/organizations.”

The grant, McClashie explained, is offered “to the community for elementary, junior high, high school and university wellness groups to submit a proposal on a project that will promote some aspect of wellness in their school or community. I heard about it because of my participation as an intern in the LUCC Student Welfare Committee.”

McClashie sent the application on her own, but the award was extended to the LU Wellness Committee, which is planning a smoking cessation program.

Cavanagh-Strong, who is a member of the Wellness Committee along with McClashie and senior Kat Miller, explained that they are still deciding what type of programming they would like to organize. The committee hopes to initiate passive and active programming revolving around quitting smoking. They would like to inform and warn people about the effects of long-time smoking and smoking products.

McClashie further explained, “The plan is to set up life-sized cardboard cut-outs with messages about the non-smoking policy, smoking cessation services at the Wellness Center and dangers of smoking in the dorms, main academic buildings or campus center.”

Both Cavanagh-Strong and Leiker encouraged students to become more engaged on campus. Said Cavanagh-Strong, “I would encourage students to become more active by joining the Wellness Committee or other campus organizations that focus on wellness, community service, awareness or by volunteering at any community organization.”

Leiker suggested contacting Kristi Hill, Lawrence’s director of volunteer and community service programs, to hear about more opportunities focusing on helping the Fox Cities community. She also invited anyone interested in the Wellness Committee to become a fan of the WelLU Facebook page to learn more about wellness initiatives on campus.