American Heart Association names MGCCC a Fit-Friendly Worksite

February 6, 2015

FitFriendlyMississippi Gulf Coast Community College has been named a 2015 Gold-level, Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association.  This designation was awarded to MGCCC because the institution has fulfilled key criteria and demonstrated a strong commitment to providing a healthy workplace for employees.

“In Strategic Plan 2020, we made an institutional commitment to provide a healthy, sustainable environment for employees and students because we recognize that healthy employees and students are more capable of handling the rigors of work and learning,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president.  “Key components of this commitment address a tobacco- and litter-free environment and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Our desire is to offer opportunities for success to the MGCCC family, and being awarded this designation demonstrates our commitment to that.”

The American Heart Association’s goal by the year 2020 is to not only reduce the rate of death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, but also to improve the heart health of all Americans by 20 percent.

More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for heart disease and stroke as well as many other chronic illnesses and conditions. Making healthy changes in the workplace, where many adults spend much of their day, is an important way to help people be healthier.

Criteria for meeting the Fit-Friendly Worksite’s Gold Level include offering employees physical-activity support, increasing healthy eating at work, promoting a wellness culture and adhering to a strict tobacco policy.

Through MGCCC’s health initiative, tools and resources are made available to all employees and students, including tobacco-cessation programs utilizing the resources of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions, increased access to campus fitness centers; free programs, classes and health screenings; expanded usage of walking tracks and paths; and employee weight-loss competitions through which healthy eating and exercise programs are introduced.

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