Dalton State Recognized for Health Initiatives


Dalton State College recently received the first-ever University System of Georgia Well-Being Award for having a high participation rate in the system’s health initiative program.

The system-wide participation goal was 30 percent, but Dalton State exceeded that with a 55-percent participation rate.

The mission is to create a comprehensive approach to achieving well-being that both engages and empowers the entire USG community. It is important that the program not only improve the health of faculty and staff, but also look at ways to impact students and everyone who steps on campus. In March of 2018, the USG launched the system-wide well-being program to achieve the vision and mission and to specifically support positive behavior change among our employees, according to information from the USG.

“I am very pleased that the USG sees the value in investing in our employees, and I’m especially pleased to see our employees taking advantage of these opportunities,” said Dr. Margaret Venable, president of the College. “Improving the overall well-being, not just the health, of our employees is an important key to ensuring a successful college with thriving students. These activities have also been a wonderful tool to help make connections among our employees across different departments and locations. When we play together, we become a stronger team.”

Employees in Human Resources, as well as a team of well-being champions, led the efforts to increase participation in the program.

“They encouraged us, reminded us, and pushed us to engage and keep going,” Venable said. “They were vital to the successful engagement of our employees.”

The USG offered a well-being credit, of up to $100 for employees and their spouses enrolled in the healthcare plan. Additionally, Dalton State began a “Smile Boldly” campaign. Administrators led walks around the campus, and the College approved a policy that allows staff time to engage in activities.

“We are continuing to build on the well-being efforts of the institution and helping our employees understand that we are not just focusing on physical exercise, but we also want to emphasize healthy eating, stress management, and financial well-being, to name a few areas of focus,” said Lori McCarty, director of Human Resources. “In 2018, Dalton State approved a well-being release-time policy that allows staff up to 60 minutes a week to engage in well-being activities. We believe in this initiative for the betterment of our employees. Receiving the first year of this award is an honor and the well-being champions are already working on helping to increase the engagement rates for 2019.”