Shape up: W&L learns how to live well

Washington and Lee encourages its faculty and staff to strive for healthier living through its annual Wellness Fair

Faculty member Jan Kaufman speaking with vendors. Photo by Savannah Kimble, ‘18

Faculty member Jan Kaufman speaking with vendors. Photo by Savannah Kimble, ‘18

Faith Isbell

If you’ve ever gone for a workout in the Washington and Lee Fitness Center, you’ve probably run into a friend, a fellow classmate or even a professor. That’s because the faculty and staff at W&L strive toward an active and healthy community.

On Sept. 22, W&L hosted just one of many events that encourages health and well-being in its community: The Wellness Fair.

Held in Evans Dining Hall, the annual Wellness Fair celebrated its seventh year with over 35 vendors, services and information from local health and wellness professionals.

The vendors came from businesses and organizations across the Lexington and the Rockbridge Area, such as Healthy Foods, Lexington Eye Care, Fidelity, Weight Watchers, YMCA, Mobile Food Pantry, Center of Gravity and Short Chiropractic. CVS Pharmacy was present and offered flu shots by appointment, and Biometric Health Screenings were provided.

Among the vendors was the Rockbridge Area Health Center, a local, non-profit organization that promotes and provides comprehensive healthcare for the insured and the uninsured. The Rockbridge Area Health Center has participated in the Wellness Fair for many years.

Janet Beebe, the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Rockbridge Area Health Center, describes how the strong relationship W&L maintains with the Lexington community has extended into the realm of health and well-being.

“W&L is very committed to wellness and extends this [commitment] not only to its employees but to the community,” Beebe said. “It’s a win-win.”

Since its first year, the W&L Wellness Fair has continued to evolve. Once open to both students and faculty, the Wellness Fair is now mainly targeted toward faculty in conjunction with W&L’s Live Well program.

Although the student body is welcome to attend, the Wellness Fair did not receive as much attention from W&L students in its earlier years, which led the faculty-centered Live Well program to restructure the event.

Launched in 2010, the Live Well program was formed as part of W&L’s initiative, as stated in the Live Well catalogue, to “support the work-life blending and wellness.”

The Live Well program functions to provide compensation and wellness benefits to faculty members and their partners. Participants aim to earn a set number of points that can be used to receive incentive-based rewards, such as monthly health insurance premium discounts and gift certificates.

Live Well staff and members from the Wellness Committee attended the Wellness Fair both as consultants and as customers.

From the W&L Fitness Center, Assistant Director Patti Colliton serves as a Wellness Committee member and ran the W&L Fitness Center table at the Wellness Fair, where she offered information on the Fitness Center and the weekly class schedules.

From W&L Human Resources, Work-Life Coordinator Anne Remington serves as the on-site Wellness Program manager.

“The Live Well program is designed to make our current employee population healthier and to make as much information available as possible,” Remington said. “It has really continued to progress and grow over the years.”

Live Well’s progress is especially evidenced by W&L faculty and staff who have been involved in the program since early on.

Administrator and Vice President of University Advancement Dennis Cross spoke to the success of the Live Well program. Cross believes that Live Well has helped him remain “accountable” to his health and reinforced the importance of regular exercise.

“[Live Will] has helped keep me very disciplined,” Cross said. “It has made a difference in my health, well-being and mental alertness. It’s a way to keep me fresh and challenged.”