Oklahoma Baptist University celebrated becoming a Blue Zones Project approved worksite with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Nov. 3. OBU is the first university in the state of Oklahoma and the first top 20 employer in Pottawatomie County to be named as an approved Blue Zones worksite.
The Blue Zones Project is an international well-being improvement initiative designed to help make healthy choices easier for everyone within local communities. The project encourages changes that will lead to healthier options. By partnering with the Blue Zones Project, OBU has committed to support these changes, which include regular physical activity, social engagement and healthy food choices. As part of the initiative, employees were encouraged to sign the Blue Zones pledge.
OBU President Dr. David W. Whitlock looks forward to seeing the impact OBU’s commitment to Blue Zones will have on the campus and the surrounding community.
“I challenge you, along with the rest of the community, to live healthier,” he said. “We want to help lead our community and state to change the way they live. We want the state to be healthier and we want to be an example of that.”
Along with a number of additional employees, the OBU Blue Zones committee was instrumental in both the approval process and the initial partnership. Committee members attending the event included Andrea Wooldridge, RAWC director; Lindsay Mitchell, wellness coordinator; Mike Johnson, director of human resources; Kami Fullingim, human resources administrator; Josh Trimble, director of development; and Dr. Will Smallwood, senior vice president for advancement and university relations.
Miriam Bell, organizational lead for Blue Zones, was pleased with OBU’s overall commitment to becoming an approved worksite.
“The amount of work and effort that went into this approval process on behalf of OBU was outstanding,” she said. “The amount of work and dedication put in set the bar for other organizations as they go through this same process.”