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Press Release for Tuesday, April 2, 2019

UNF Achieves Pioneering Campus-Wide Initiative Supporting Health and Wellness

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida, in collaboration with Partnership for a Healthier America, just completed its three-year commitment to expanding healthier options across the campus community.


UNF is one of 32 institutions of higher learning across the country to successfully complete their commitments to implementing PHA's rigorous Healthier Campus Initiative guidelines, designed to create a culture shift towards greater health and wellness among the entire campus community. They range from providing healthier meals and convenient access to potable water to providing diverse opportunities for physical activity.


"We congratulate UNF's commitment to supporting students and their wider campus community to form healthy habits that will last a lifetime," said PHA President and CEO Nancy Roman.


As part of the University's Healthier Campus Initiative commitment, UNF worked collaboratively with PHA to build upon existing campus wellness efforts to encourage and support greater physical activity and healthier eating habits. Every Healthier Campus Initiative partner commits to meeting 23 of 41 PHA guidelines within three years.


"Since signing the agreement to join the Partnership for a Healthier America, the University has made tremendous strides to become the healthiest post-secondary institution in the nation," said Ashley Ballard, senior director of the Department of Recreation and Wellness. "With the support and framework from PHA, we're confident in reaching milestones toward the ultimate goal of a healthier university that encompasses mind, body and Osprey spirit."


Of the 23 commitment elements implemented at UNF, a few include:

  • Offering at least one wellness meal, a meal designated as a healthy choice, during breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • listing calories of food and beverage items or using a "healthy icon" to designate healthier food and beverage options at the point of presentation
  • implementing a local food or sustainability program, Taste of Ogier Gardens, in campus food service
  • offering nonacademic cooking skills classes and at least one "how to" physical activity/movement class that introduces students to new activities free of charge

PHAs guidelines were developed in collaboration with some of the nation's leading nutrition, physical activity and campus wellness experts. To learn more about PHA's participating colleges and universities, visit


The Partnership for a Healthier America is a nonprofit organization devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with-but independent from-former First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort.


The mission of the Department of Recreation and Wellness is to create an environment for the UNF community that inspires healthy lifestyle choices through valuable programs and services while supporting academic success.


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.