Wellness Council Awards
The Wellness Council has created an award process to recognize Creighton employees who have positively impacted the health and well-being of others or themselves. There are two categories that will be awarded every February.
Transformation Award: Recognizes an employee who now leads a healthier lifestyle and has made a significant health transformation as a result of participating in Creighton University’s wellness program.
Holistic Wellness Award: Recognizes an employee who exemplifies the Jesuit value of cura personalis (care of the whole person) in his or her integrated care of the body, mind and spirit.
Erin McElroy seized a wide variety of emotions and applied it to a new way of living, one that included a set of daily non-negotiables. Exercise most days, eat a sensible diet every day, minimize stress, and get adequate sleep. These behaviors were not adopted overnight, but they were accepted. Adoption came with time and so did the understanding that a healthy lifestyle is continuous journey, one with several tweaks and adjustments along the way. As Erin became more confident and more committed to her routine, she began to see improvements such as weight loss and higher energy levels. Her transformation, although personal to her, became a source of inspiration to many of her colleagues across campus and continues to be motivating today. .
hOLISTIC wELLNESS aWARD
Dr. Michael Kavan lives the Jesuit value of cura personalis by prioritizing faith, health, family, school, and life’s gifts but he exemplifies it by sharing those priorities with those he educates.
Dr. Kavan keeps himself physically fit through running and cycling. He often talks about the bike races he participates in. But winning races is secondary to how his wellness keeps the other facets of his life in balance. In fact, Dr. Kavan may derive more satisfaction sharing the numerous benefits of wellness with his students. He offers counseling services to those in the School of Medicine where he explains the positive effects physical activity can have on the increasingly prevalent issues of anxiety and depression, while stressing the need to have balance in one’s life.
Kelly VanEngen, business service center specialist, will receive the Transformation Award. This award recognizes an employee who now leads a healthier lifestyle and has made a significant health transformation as a result of participating in Creighton’s wellness program.
VanEngen’s wellness journey began in December 2008, when upon seeing a photo of herself, she decided to make a lifestyle change for better mental and physical wellness. She credits her Creighton family as an essential part of her success.
During lunch breaks, she took advantage of the University’s fitness center for extra cardio sessions. Since 2008, VanEngen has lost 100 pounds.
“You may see from my photos that my outside transformation is pretty incredible; however, I like to say that the transformation that I’ve made internally has far outweighed it,” VanEngen says. “There is beauty in becoming who you were truly meant to be. For me that is self-confident, fearless, powerful and an overcomer.”
hOLISTIC wELLNESS aWARD
Joe Ducharme, web operations specialist, will be honored with the Holistic Wellness Award. This award recognizes an employee who exemplifies the Jesuit value of cura personalis (care of the whole person) in his or her integrated care of the body, mind and spirit.
Ducharme is a true champion of wellness in his department, University Communications and Marketing. Each lunch hour, he goes to the Rasmussen Center to work out, oftentimes with other co-workers. He is famous for his homemade healthy treats for the office and considers others dietary restrictions (gluten-free, etc.) when preparing goodies.
Perhaps the most recognizable way Ducharme encourages others in their wellness journeys is through a twice-daily walk around Morrison Stadium (in nice weather) or climbing a flight of stairs in the Wareham Building. Each day, he gathers co-workers at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to join alongside the 10 minute exercise break.
“Joe is always positive in his attitude toward work, his co-workers and life, and his positivity is something that his co-workers notice and greatly appreciate,” one of Ducharme’s nominators writes. “He handles problems in stride and always has a humorous or light-hearted outlook that helps defuse stress.”