Holistic wellness at the center of second annual HealthEU Day

The day-long event included a campus wellness fair, educational sessions, group exercise events, along with other activities, programs and giveaways.

Lisa Layne blows bubbles as a relaxation technique at HealthEU day October 17, 2023, outside the Koury Center on the campus of Elon University.

Since its inception in August 2022, the HealthEU initiative at Elon has been focused on a holistic approach to the health and wellness of the university’s community.

For the second annual HealthEU Day, that holistic nature was on full display as several other happenings were brought under the HealthEU umbrella.

“One major difference this year is we combined efforts,” said Charlotte Williams, associate director of campus recreation and wellness for student wellness. “Campus Recreation and Wellness has partnered with Human Resources and Faculty and Staff Wellness to get more synergy and have everyone centered — faculty, staff and students — all at once.”

HealthEU provides access to resources, educational tools and support for all members of the university community while cultivating personal wellness values they can rely on even after leaving the university.

HealthEU is rooted in Elon’s Boldy Elon 10-year strategic plan, which was launched in the spring of 2020. Included within the plan’s Thrive theme, the HealthEU initiative was developed with the goal of Elon serving as a national model for programs, research and dialogues promoting resilience, belonging and all aspects of lifelong personal wellness.

HealthEU Day saw a campus wellness fair which ran in conjunction with the Faculty/Staff Benefits Fair. Various campus organizations and local businesses set up tables on the west side of Koury Center to offer information and opportunities to students, faculty and staff. Each table fell under the six dimensions of HealthEU — community well-being, emotional well-being, financial well-being, physical well-being, purpose well-being and social well-being.

HealthEU Day came as Elon celebrates Campus Sustainability Week, with Wednesday night’s keynote address from author and food security advocate Ashlie Thomas also tied into the HealthEU Day festivities. In her keynote address, “Cultivating Connection, Resilience, and Food Sovereignty,” Thomas explored the powerful synergy between cultivating nutritious food, fostering community bonds and promoting greater personal and collective wellness. Her talk also highlights the importance food has on living a healthy life and how it can be related to each of the HealthEU dimensions.

On HealthEU Day, there were educational sessions on topics such as navigating behavior change and financial planning, as well as health offerings with a mobile screening bus from Cone Health, yoga, pilates, cycling and more.

Andrew Moffa, Assistant Director of the Kernodle Center for Civic Life, plays pickleball at HealthEU day October 17, 2023, outside the Koury Center on the campus of Elon University.

Going forward, Williams said the HealthEU initiative will continue to grow and become more ingrained into the fabric of Elon. With plans to open an integrated wellness building on the Innovation Quad in the next few years which will bolster many services on campus, HealthEU will only continue to grow.

“For Counseling Services, Campus Recreation and Wellness, and other campus services sharing the same physical space will allow students to see the physical connection and allow us to have warm handoffs in the future,” Williams said.

“And as far as HealthEU Day, the sky’s the limit. This year, with it being during Homecoming and Sustainability Week was an advantage for us to keep building momentum. So who knows what we can add for the future?”