Human Resources program promotes faculty use of on-campus health resources

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Photo Credit: Rocky Higine | Daily Texan Staff

University faculty and staff have access to flu shots, mammogram screenings, therapy dogs and walking tours on campus through the Passport to Health program. 

The program, a UT HealthPoint Human Resources initiative launched in 2018, offers on-campus health and fitness resources to faculty and staff, said Osalunosse Ovienmhada, work life balance and wellness manager for Office of the Associate Vice President for Human Resources. Faculty and staff members receive a small booklet shaped like a passport to track their activity, and by attending fitness activities approved by HealthPoint, they can earn prizes, Ovienmhada said.

“We started this program as a way for participants to get more involved and track what activities they are taking,” Ovienmhada said. “In general, people like participating with a team. Part of Passport to Health is this team aspect so that we can do all these activities together.”

Natalie England, Moody College of Communication communications manager, said Passport to Health created a peer support system for staying in shape. 

“Building a network or a team to do (Passport to Health) with … might be important,” England said. “Anything that motivates a person to move and to prioritize their well-being is positive.”

 

Leslie Moore, educational psychology senior lecturer, said access to health resources on campus benefits faculty and staff. 

“(Programs such as Passport to Health) make people healthier, more able to do their jobs and reduce absenteeism,” Moore said. “I have participated in a nutrition program that’s a part of this package, and in my faculty, there are at least six of us who have partaken in the activities together, and it’s helpful.”

Guadalupe Aguilar, communication sciences and disorders junior, said she is impressed by the vast amount of health resources faculty and staff have access to.

“I hope my professors engage in the Passport to Health program,” said Aguilar. “Professors on campus are good role models to students, so I feel students can be inspired by professors who implement these resources in their daily lives.”

Faculty and staff can receive a passport to start their fitness journey at HealthPoint’s events, HealthPoint’s office or the Occupational Health Program office, according to HealthPoint’s website. 

“There are many resources that are provided by our University that are specifically for faculty and staff, but some are underutilized,” Ovienmhada said. “So the program gives an opportunity for individuals who may not have previously been involved in certain programs to take advantage of them.”