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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.06
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Columbia University
PA-11: Wellness Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Rebecca Balkin
Administrative Coordinator
Office of Work/Life
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution make counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all members of the following groups?:
Yes or No
Students Yes
Staff Yes
Faculty Yes

A brief description of the institution’s wellness and/or employee assistance program(s):

Columbia University has an Employee Assistance Program, as well as, many wellness programs/initiatives. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is s a confidential service available to all faculty, researchers, administrators and staff. The EAP provides a network of specialized services, including short-term counseling and life coaching, to help employees and their household members cope with everyday issues such as stress, relationships, depression, drug and alcohol addiction. It also provides adult/elder care information and referral. All services are provided by Humana/Harris Rothenberg International (HRI) at no cost to employees. Humana/HRI's counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is also a website with additional resources: http://www.hriworld.com/index.aspx
The Breastfeeding Support Program provides nursing mothers with access to clean, private, lactation rooms equipped with hospital grade breast pumps. Columbia currently has 12 lactation rooms, some of which have multiple pumping stations. Breast pump attachments for the pumps in the rooms are sold through the Office of Work/Life below retail cost. The program also includes a free workshop each semester on breastfeeding open to anyone at Columbia. http://worklife.columbia.edu/breastfeedingsupport
Columbia’s Office of Work/Life sponsors several programs designed to improve the well-being of faculty and staff. These programs include the following:
• Bicycling/Active Travel: The Office of Work/Life has arranged discounts for Columbia faculty, staff, and students at local bicycling shops, offers free bicycling workshops, and the serves as an informational hub for resources about bicycling on campus and New York City through its bicycling webpage. Columbia Public Safety offers bicycle registration, engraving, and sells bike locks at a discounted rate
• Healthy Lifestyle Challenge: The Healthy Lifestyle Challenge (HLC) is a worksite wellness program developed by the Office of Work/Life that encourages Columbia employees to make positive changes which can lead to a healthier lifestyle. It is a five week program designed to encourage the development/adoption of healthier habits
• Mindfulness Training for Stress Reduction (MTSR): MTSR is offered each semester for a small fee to faculty and staff at Columbia. The group meets for eight weeks to learn and practice this meditation technique
• Take the Stairs Campaign: A collaborative effort between the Office of Work/Life, Columbia Health, Alice! Health Promotion, CUMove, CUFacilities, Environmental Stewardship, Teacher’s College, and the NYC Department of Health, Take the Stairs campaign encourages the Columbia community to choose the stairs instead of the elevator as a quick way to add more physical activity into your day and save electricity.
• Walk to Wellness: This is a free fitness program that includes instructor-led lunchtime walks two days a week, as well as, pre and post fitness assessment. Participants receive water bottles and are signed up for a listserv, which provides weekly fitness tips.
• Weight Watchers at Work: There are two Weight Watchers at Work groups meeting at Columbia. This is a weight loss program that combines nutrition/diet guidelines with weekly group meetings
• Wellness Discounts: The Office of Work/Life has arranged for discounts with several city-wide fitness centers, as well as prenatal classes offered at NY Presbyterian Hospital.
There are many other wellness initiatives at Columbia, which are listed on the Office of Work/Life’s website. http://worklife.columbia.edu/wellness Students
Alice! Health Promotion seeks to make students and the University community healthier by connecting individuals and groups with information and resources, cultivating healthy attitudes and behaviors, promoting health, supporting policy, and fostering a culture that values and supports health. Students
Alice! Health Promotion seeks to make students and the University community healthier by connecting individuals and groups with information and resources, cultivating healthy attitudes and behaviors, promoting health, supporting policy, and fostering a culture that values and supports health.

We believe that health is vital to learning and we strive to connect our work to the mission of Columbia University. Our work is guided by the Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education and our role is to:
• Assess the health status of students;
• Strategically plan to prevent student health issues at all levels of the socioecologial model;
• Collaborate with students and colleagues across the University to improve the health of the campus community; and
• Develop, implement, and evaluate theory- and evidence-informed health promotion initiatives.

We believe that health is vital to learning and we strive to connect our work to the mission of Columbia University. Our work is guided by the Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education and our role is to:
• Assess the health status of students;
• Strategically plan to prevent student health issues at all levels of the socioecologial model;
• Collaborate with students and colleagues across the University to improve the health of the campus community; and
• Develop, implement, and evaluate theory- and evidence-informed health promotion initiatives.


The website URL where information about the institution's wellness program(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.