Plymouth State University Pledges As A Healthy Campus Partner

The First University in New England Committed to Improving the Health of Campus Communities

Plymouth State University took the American College Health Association’s Healthy Campus Pledge and is now considered a Healthy Campus 2020 Partner. This pledge supported by University President, Donald Birx demonstrates a campus’ commitment toward achieving the Healthy Campus 2020 goals and objectives, and Plymouth State has joined a growing group of diverse, motivated institutions and organizations working every day to move campuses across our nation toward better health and well-being.


Healthy Campus 2020 is the companion framework to Healthy People 2020, the federal government’s health promotion and disease prevention initiative for achieving better health across the United States. Healthy Campus 2020 provides a framework for improving the overall health status on campuses nationwide. Strategies extend beyond traditional interventions of education, diagnosis, treatment, and health care at clinical levels and involve embedding health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academics.


While no two Healthy Campus initiatives are exactly alike, most include a network of people working toward a common vision, priority health needs of your community, a plan with clearly defined strategies and action steps, community-and individual-focused interventions, and tracking progress. For more information about Healthy Campus 2020, please visit


Becoming a Healthy Campus Partner reflects Plymouth State University’s continued commitment to health and well-being while joining the national movement to create healthier campuses. Plymouth State has been working to improve their culture of health since 2010 thru their on-campus Healthy PSU campaign. Since that time, numerous efforts have been implemented towards building a healthier campus from educational offerings to policy changes. Both the Healthy PSU campaign and the Project Director, Denise Normandin, MA, RD, LD achieved national recognition awards from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) as a Platinum Well-Workplace and a Top 10 Health Promotion Professional, respectively. These accomplishments distinguish Plymouth State University for leadership and innovation in the health and wellness arena.


Mark Casale ’89, a current PSU employee had this to say about the program, “The opportunities that the Healthy PSU program has brought to my experience have had a tremendous impact on my life. In this civilization, many of us spend the majority of our time at work. Bringing information and activities that promote health and wellbeing into the work day, offers the opportunity to create and embrace new habits. Healthy PSU has sponsored hiking, snowshoeing and other outdoor activities that have given some folks their first opportunity to try. Again, all of these activities reinforce existing and create new social connections across different departments and constituent groups within the PSU community. Participating in kinetic activities with colleagues creates bonds and deepens the sense of community. The walking programs, yoga classes, exercise classes, dance classes, cooking and nutrition information all nourish the health, spirit and attitude of the overall PSU community. Simply put, it feels like a huge benefit and it makes it fun to work here!”


Plymouth State was also recognized by the American Heart Association as a Fit-friendly Company for three consecutive years; 2014 Gold, 2015 Platinum and 2016 Innovative and placed 2nd in WELCOAs National On the Move University challenge. In 2016, Plymouth State University demonstrated their continued commitment to building Healthy People in a Healthy Place TM by becoming a smoke and tobacco free campus.


Most recently, Plymouth State University hosted the 1st Annual Healthy Living Summit, an educational symposium that showcased the impact and vision for supporting the health and well-being of the campus and beyond. Nicholas Vailas ’76 provided the closing remarks for the symposium.“As a PSU Alumnus and President’s Council member, it brings me great pride to see Plymouth State as a national leader in promoting healthy living for students, faculty, staff, families, and the community. A model in delivering a message that attaining wellness is not a once in a while endeavor, but an ethos of attaining health through day to day decisions and choices that foster wellness and an environment that supports healthy living choices,” said Vailas.


For more information on Plymouth State University’s Healthy PSU, please visit

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