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For Release:  January 25, 2012 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications - 405/271-5601

Certified Healthy Oklahoma Annual Award Winners Announced

As part of an effort to create healthy places in Oklahoma to live, work, learn and play, today the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), along with the Oklahoma Academy, The State Chamber, and the Oklahoma Turning Point Council announced the annual award winners for the state Certified Healthy Oklahoma programs. This year, more than 570 applications were submitted from groups throughout the state, and over 480 award winners received the “Certified Healthy” status in the categories of Certified Healthy Businesses, Certified Healthy Restaurants, Certified Healthy Schools, Certified Healthy Campuses, and Certified Healthy Communities. An awards ceremony honoring the winners will be held in March.

For the list of award winners, visit the OSDH website at www.health.ok.gov.

“The Certified Healthy Oklahoma programs are an exciting way to expand the ‘Shape Your Future’ health initiative that challenges Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. “Through the ‘Certified Healthy’ programs, Oklahomans are creating an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice. The increasing number of applicants every year speaks loudly about the commitment of these entities to improve the health of people in our state,” he said.

The Oklahoma Certified Healthy Business Program recognizes Oklahoma businesses that provide health and wellness opportunities and are working to improve the health status of Oklahomans. To be certified, businesses must meet specific criteria, including providing employee health screenings, workplace health and nutrition education, opportunities for physical exercise activities, management support for healthy workplace environments, tobacco use prevention activities, and sharing wellness activities within their respective communities.

The Certified Healthy Restaurant application criteria are similar to the business application but include the addition of healthy menu offerings. 

Application criteria for Certified Healthy Schools include the availability of health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, counseling, psychological and social services, healthy and safe school environment, health promotion for staff, and community involvement being offered at a school site.

The Certified Healthy Campus category certifies college campuses or career technology centers that create a safe and healthy environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors. The American College Health Association’s “Standards for Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education” helped set the criteria for the campus certification.

The Certified Healthy Community category includes addressing such issues as tobacco and alcohol use prevention, improving nutrition and physical activity, addressing built environments and transportation, health services, and community education offered within a community site. Points for support for safe routes to schools and farmer’s markets were included.

For more information about any of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma programs, contact Kathy Payne, OSDH Community Development Services, (405) 271-9444, ext. 56507, or email kpayne@health.ok.gov.

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