What is Certified Healthy Campus?

Certified Healthy Campus was created in 2011 to recognize both public and private
post-secondary campuses and career technology centers that promote health and wellness for their faculty, staff, students, and even visitors. Promotion of health and wellness can be done in a variety of ways including: passing policies that encourage healthy lifestyles and making facilities available for physical activities. Any college, university, or career technology center, whether public or private, may apply for Certified Healthy Campus status. The program is administered by the Oklahoma Turning Point Council and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Center for the Advancement of Wellness.

Why Does Certified Healthy Matter?

Currently, the major causes of death and disability in Oklahoma are due to chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes, and a significant proportion of these conditions are preventable. By becoming a Certified Healthy Campus, you are providing a healthy environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors, thereby supporting better choices and an overall healthier Oklahoma. By meeting most or all of the criteria to become Certified Healthy, campuses provide an established environment to foster behavior modification, in addition to policy adoption and implementation. Campuses provide an environment to offer targeted programs to improve health outcomes among multiple populations. Certified Healthy Campus provides an opportunity to reach not only young adults, but adults seeking continuing education or simply beginning their higher education career later in life. Additionally, Certified Healthy Campus encourages the implementation of policies, programs, and procedures that touch not only students, but faculty, staff, and visitors, as well. By providing a campus environment rooted in evidence-based health and wellness principles, you are contributing to Oklahoma’s future.

The State of Health in Oklahoma

Oklahoma currently ranks 45 on America’s Health Rankings (2015). Our poor health outcomes are hurting our families, future, and finances.

  • From 1990 to 2010, life expectancy in the US has increased by 3.3 years; in the same time period, Oklahomans have only seen an increase of 0.9 years (OSDH 2014).
  • The leading cause of death in Oklahoma is heart disease. In fact, 1 in 4 Oklahoma deaths in 2012 was due to heart disease (OSDH 2014). Physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and smoking all contribute to heart disease.
  • In 2010, Oklahoma had the highest death rate due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the nation. Cigarette smoking is the main cause of COPD and secondhand smoke contributes to the disease, as well (OSDH 2014).
  • Oklahoma has the 4th highest death rate in the US due to diabetes, and 90-95% of diabetes cases are categorized as Type 2 (OSDH 2014).

Chronic disease is often preventable, but Oklahomans’ health behaviors are contributing to the state’s chronic disease morbidity and mortality

  • Approximately 1 out of 2 Oklahomans eat less than one fruit daily, and 1 out of 4 eat less than one vegetable daily (BRFSS 2013).
  • More Oklahomans are overweight or obese than at a normal weight (68%) (BRFSS 2014).
  • More than 1 out of 4 Oklahomans gets no leisure-time physical activity (BRFSS 2014).
  • Approximately 1 out of 5 Oklahomans is a current smoker (BRFSS 2014).

Unhealthy eating, a sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use are a recipe for chronic disease. However, we can work together to improve behaviors and the health of Oklahomans. The change starts with YOU!

During their time on campuses, many young people begin their journey towards a career, learning hobbies, and developing friendships that may last for years or decades. The start of this journey provides a great opportunity to help people develop a lifelong culture of health. Likewise, campus employees can greatly benefit from healthy changes in their workplace, which can be applied in both their personal and professional lives.

Campuses that are Certified Healthy see a return on their investment via healthier faculty, staff, students, and even visitors. By contributing to the wellness of those in your establishment, you are helping to create a better, brighter Oklahoma. Campuses that advocate for health are recognized as leaders in the community!


America’s Health Rankings. 2015. Oklahoma. State Data. Retrieved from http://www.americashealthrankings.org/OK.

Oklahoma State Department of Health. 2014. Indicator Report Cards. 2014 State of the State’s Health. Retrieved from http://www.ok.gov/health/pub/boh/state/SOSH%202014-Indicator%20Report%20Cards.pdf.

Oklahoma State Department of Health: Center for Health Statistics. 2013. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Oklahoma Statistics on Health Available for Everyone (OK2SHARE). Retrieved from http://www.health.state.ok.us/stats/Health_Surveys/BRFSS/Statistics11.shtml.

Oklahoma State Department of Health: Center for Health Statistics. 2014. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Oklahoma Statistics on Health Available for Everyone (OK2SHARE). Retrieved from http://www.health.state.ok.us/stats/Health_Surveys/BRFSS/Statistics11.shtml.

Tobacco Free Kids. 2014. The Toll of Tobacco in Oklahoma. The Toll of Tobacco in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/Oklahoma.

University of Michigan (Health Management Research Center). 2000. The Ultimate 20th Century Cost Benefit Analysis and Report: pages 1-39.