CU Denver is the first university in the Rocky Mountain region to be inducted into the Okanagan Charter for Health Promoting Campuses, an international network aimed at embedding health into all aspects of campus culture and leading health promotion and collaboration.
Lacey Klindt, who previously oversaw CU Denver’s COVID-19 contract tracing operations and is now the university’s first public health response director, spearheaded the application process in an effort to elevate the university’s public health response and partnerships. As part of the charter membership, Klindt virtually meets with representatives from 91 colleges and universities across the U.S. on a monthly basis to discuss best practices in health care response, with a focus on promoting fair and equitable health for all.
“Public health overlaps with all of our strategic goals: equity, university for life, research, innovation, and best place to work,” Klindt said. “There’s so much opportunity to help everyone in promoting health, which is why it was so important for us to join this realm of public health.”
The U.S. charter falls under the umbrella of the International Health Promoting Universities & Colleges Network. Created in June 2015, the network provides institutions with a common language, principles, and framework to become health and well-being promoting campuses, its website says. In addition, through the charter’s networking events, universities and colleges are able to learn about funding, grant, and partnership opportunities on a national and international level.
“It’s about embedding health into all aspects of campus culture, including administration choices, operations, and academic direction,” Klindt said. “It’s changing the way we think about providing health.”