Leadership Update

Welcome to the MHealthy Leadership Update, Winter 2018 issue

MHealthy’s mission is to support members of the U-M community to lead healthy, fulfilling lives and foster positive work cultures and environments that contribute to U-M being a great place to work. We are working at both individual and organizational levels with other U-M partners to try to achieve this mission through a variety of programs and services that target specific health issues as well as organizational supports. We are grateful for the support from our university leaders, which is key to achieving this mission.

In this update, we highlight several initiatives that serve the most critical needs of our community and how our collective work is helping to make U-M a positive, supportive and energizing place to work.

LaVaughn Palma-Davis LaVaughn Palma-Davis, Senior Director, Health & Well-Being Services

Dr. Preeti Malani Dr. Preeti Malani, Chief Health Officer, U-M

Well-Being at U-M:

Wellness Model

Well-being is a lifelong journey.

Through a collaboration with MHealthy and Student Life, we’ve developed a model that identifies eight key dimensions of personal well-being.

Championed by our dear friend and U-M’s former chief health officer Dr. Robert Winfield, who passed away in 2016, the model pictured illustrates a philosophy that well-being encompasses the whole person, with many factors affecting the quality of life and playing a part in achieving balance, purpose, and vitality in one’s career and at home.

The model can be found on the MHealthy and Student Life websites with links to available resources for faculty, staff and students. In addition, you can download and distribute this flier.

Assisting Individuals at High Risk or with Chronic Conditions

One of our priorities is to help individuals at high risk or with chronic conditions. We continue to work to decrease the number of employees who are classified as high risk for diabetes, back pain, stress, obesity, tobacco and other chronic conditions by providing new programs and resources. Some of our recent work includes:

Back Pain

In spring 2018, MHealthy and Occupational Health Services will pilot an early intervention back pain service to help faculty and staff with acute back pain. We are in the process of hiring a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant who will conduct an initial assessment of an employee’s condition, provide education to help the employee manage the pain and triage them to appropriate care and programs. The pilot will also include tailored exercise classes, enhanced on-line resources and opportunities to join back pain self-management groups.


We’ve partnered with the Benefits Office to promote and support the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), proven to help participants cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half. To date, more than 500 faculty and staff have participated. We are also exploring ways to offer reduced price group exercise classes to DPP participants. In addition, MHealthy will promote awareness of existing diabetes resources for individuals who already have the disease.

Chronic Condition Management

To help individuals managing long-term health conditions, MHealthy began offering PATH (Personal Action Toward Health) in 2017, small group workshops for employees, family members or caregivers. This program is a partnership with Michigan Partners on the PATH and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and is an evidence-based program proven to help individuals manage their chronic conditions.  To date, we have offered three, six-week interactive, small group workshops with more than 40 participants. We plan to offer two classes per semester in 2018, pilot a PATH-Caregiver group, and conduct targeted outreach to high risk university areas.


The U-M campus and Michigan Medicine faculty and staff counseling services (formerly known as FASAP and EAP) recently changed their names to improve the ease of identifying their services. The new names are the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO) and the Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience (OCWR).  These confidential services are available at no cost and range from individual counseling to group interventions.

A new program manager for resiliency and well-being services will be joining the mental and emotional health team this spring. This position will serve as an expert resource, practitioner and partner in addressing burnout prevention, stress management, resiliency, mind-body interventions, trauma recovery and the psychologically healthy workplace. In addition, we are exploring online and mobile technologies to improve access to services in the areas of stress, depression, anxiety and sleep, top risk factors among many groups of faculty and staff.


MHealthy has convened an Obesity/Overweight Task Force of experts and clinicians from around U-M to determine where gaps exist between the programs and services U-M currently offers, identify ways to better support faculty and staff, and make recommendations on best practice interventions for future programming.


A Tobacco Treatment Strategy Group is being formed to provide opportunities for clinicians and tobacco treatment specialists to discuss education across Michigan Medicine and explore innovative ways to engage patients in a variety of treatment methods.

Governor's Fitness Award 

Governor's Fitness Award Logo

The University of Michigan was recognized as one of the state’s healthiest workplaces with the 2017 Governor’s Fitness Award. 

These awards honor individuals and organizations for their efforts to help people live healthy lifestyles. U-M received the award because of its commitment to creating a healthy workplace environment through engaging programs, a positive culture and support from leaders. The Governor’s Fitness Awards is sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports in conjunction with the Michigan Fitness Foundation. Read the University Record article.

What's Happening

Update to Nutrition Guidelines

Assorted bags of nuts and snack bars

MHealthy and its partners recently updated its nutrition guidelines to emphasize more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains; and less saturated fats, added sugars and sodium. Foods that meet these guidelines have the MHealthy logo and can be found on campus in vending machines, and at select restaurants, eateries and catering vendors. Learn more about the guidelines.

Rewards 2018

Woman in front of Superman statue

Every year more than 20,000 faculty and staff participate in MHealthy Rewards. For the 2018 program, we are excited to offer new incentives to further support the health and well-being of our university employees:

  • Step 1:  Register for Rewards by completing the 2018 StayWell health questionnaire. Register by April 20 and qualify for a fitness center membership reimbursement up to $120.
  • Step 2:  Earn points by completing eligible health and well-being activities. Accumulate at least 100 points to earn a $100 reward. Activities are worth 25, 50 or 100 points each and can be completed through October 19, 2018.  

Learn more about MHealthy Rewards.