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Press Release for Monday, September 21, 2015

University of North Florida Joins Partnership for a Healthier America, Offers Healthier Choices

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier, in a three-year commitment to adopt guidelines around food and nutrition, and physical activity/movement and programming.

UNF’s Department of Health Promotion will implement several changes to make healthier choices easier for students, faculty and staff across its campus through the Health Osprey initiative.

“UNF is already meeting many set guidelines but joining the Partnership gives us national visibility and recognition for the hard work we’ve done while pushing us to do more,” said Director of Health Awareness Shelly Purser. “We look forward to this challenge and we are eager to get started.” 

The Univeristy signs on as a part of the third cohort of schools joining the PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, which includes 37 other colleges and universities, collectively impacting more than 800,000 students and 250,000 faculty and staff. This initiative will impact more than 16,000 students and approximately 1,500 faculty and staff on campus.

So far this semester, the Healthy Osprey initiative has organized many events focused on healthy choices including the Take the Stairs Campaign, participation in the American Heart Walk and “So Fresh, So Clean,” a campaign focused on food choices. Recruitment efforts are currently underway for “Agents of Change,” volunteer members of the campus community who will help promote wellness.

“Colleges and universities are in a unique position to help shape tomorrow’s leaders, whether they are teachers, coaches, policymakers, CEOs, moms or dads,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We know that going to college is a time of change for many students—we also know that means it’s a time when new habits are formed. By creating healthier food and physical activity environments today, campuses and universities are encouraging healthier habits that will carry over into tomorrow.”

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.