MHealthy Champions Recognized for Commitment to Well-Being

silver trophy with a star on top

Micah Washington and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance Wellness Initiative are examples of how one person or one group can make an impact. Both were recognized at the Nov. 1 MHealthy Champion Retreat for their outstanding work in fostering a culture of well-being in the workplace. 

Micah Washington: Dr. Robert Winfield Award Recipient

The Dr. Robert Winfield Award, created in honor of U-M’s first chief health officer, recognizes MHealthy Champions who go above and beyond in their roles to create a positive culture of health within their department or work unit. 

This year’s winner, Micah Washington from the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Office (AEC), received the award for his diligent work and commitment to engage his department. Among other things, he has organized a financial well-being series with U-M Credit Union, a focus partnership program with MHealthy and a “March Madness” college basketball event at Crisler Arena, with guest speakers like Juwan Howard. He is currently planning a weekly dodgeball for his colleagues. 

Earlier this year, Micah was awarded a wellness grant to implement a “Plants for the AEC Office” project, which will use plants to help improve the workspace for more than 200 employees in his department.

Runners up for the Winfield Award include Trisha Pickett from the Health System Children's Center and Conor Locke from Orthopaedic Research Laboratories.  

School of Music, Theatre and Dance Wellness Initiative: LaVaughn Palma-Davis Wellness Committee Award Recipient 

The LaVaughn Palma-Davis Wellness Committee Award, created in honor of MHealthy's first senior director, recognizes Champion-led wellness committees that work to positively affect the culture of health for the populations they serve.

This year’s winner is the School of Music, Theatre and Dance Wellness (SMTD) Initiative, which has demonstrated its commitment to improving the culture at SMTD. Committee members include Paola Savvidou, Becky Olsen and Sarah Erlewine. Accomplishments over the last year include holding a weekly 30-minute walking group around north campus. It became an opportunity to take a break, chat about non-work related topics and welcome new colleagues. The walking group was so successful that another day was added and it now meets twice a week. 

With faculty and staff feedback in mind, the committee also applied for and received a wellness grant to provide two virtual cooking demonstrations and free meal kits for their colleagues. The committee has also held an online Mind-Body Balance Series, offering free, weekly online classes on topics such as yoga, meditation and tai chi, which is open to the entire U-M community as well as the general public.

The runner up for this year’s Palma-Davis Award is the UM-Dearborn 2023 Scavenger Hunt Planning Committee. Committee members include Bryan Earl, Sheryl Kubiak, Raya Semet, Lisa Ballard, Lorie Dominique, Kristine Day and Lori Ormsby.

The winning Champions and Wellness Committee received a trophy and monetary gift card. 

More than 600 staff and faculty currently volunteer as MHealthy Champions. To learn more about the program and learn how you can apply, visit the MHealthy website

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