Kent State Recognized for Employee Wellness Program

Kent State ended 2019 by striking gold x 2! The American Heart Association and Healthy Business Council of Ohio have awarded Kent State’s employee wellness program with its highest honor, the Gold Achievement Award.

“Though Kent State is no stranger to receiving recognition by the American Heart Association as part of their Workplace Health Achievement index, having received Silver Level in 2017 and 2018, receiving the Gold Level recognition for 2019 was wonderful news that all faculty and staff should be proud of,” said Kim Hauge, director for Employee Wellness at Kent State.

Kent State University was honored by the AHA’s highest level of achievement, “for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace.” The award letter further indicated that, the Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of workplace health programs. Studies show that worksites with a culture of health with comprehensive, evidence-based policies and programs, and senior leadership support are more likely to have engaged employees and a healthier, more productive workforce.

One of the unique features of the AHA Index is that it calculates an average heart health score for employees of participating companies that securely submit aggregate health data. Employers in turn receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement so they can advance their annual performance and recognition.

“This allows us to use the benchmark information toward our continuous improvement as it relates to improving lifestyle measures that impact cardiovascular health, such as smoking, physical activity, weight, blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure,” said Hauge. “On the heels of being notified of the AHA Gold Achievement Award, we received a congratulatory letter from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio (HBCO) notifying us that Kent State is being awarded its highest level of achievement.”

“Worksites that are recognized this year should be especially proud of their accomplishments knowing they have provided their employees with nationally competitive and well-rounded programming that supports healthy lifestyles,” said Laurie Cadmus, co-chair for the HBCO Healthy Worksite Award Committee. “This year’s application was more comprehensive and aligned with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Worksite Health Scorecard so that worksites could more effectively become competitive with national trends in workplace wellbeing programming.”

“It is a great honor knowing that Kent State continues to receive national recognition from the American Heart Association – this year at the Gold achievement level,” said Jack Witt, vice president for Human Resources at Kent State University. “Moreover, the Health Business Council of Ohio has now added its highest-level award. This all confirms the dynamic and comprehensive approach to employee wellness and health taken here at KSU.”

Kim Hauge will receive the HBCO award on behalf of Kent State University later this month as part of the Health Action Council 2020 Annual Symposium in Columbus. The AHA has also published all silver- and gold-level award winners in Forbes Magazine

For more information on Kent State’s employee wellness program and resources, visit our website, or email

POSTED: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 9:29am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 7:52am