Be Colorado is a hit, especially at the University of Colorado Denver.

Faculty and staff at the Denver campus basked in their commitment to wellness on Dec. 2 when they won the trophy for best participation in this fall’s Be Colorado health assessment. About 40 people attended the festive awards presentation, as well as prize drawings, in the Terrace Room in the Lawrence Street Center.

The University of Colorado Denver had nearly 23 percent faculty and staff participation in the screenings provided by Be Colorado, a comprehensive wellness program offered to participants of the University of Colorado Health and Welfare Trust. University leadership agreed to a friendly competition to see which campus could get the largest turnout rate for the screenings, which drew about 1,300 participants systemwide.

“You did great — that’s why we’re here today,” Risa Heywood, CU health promotion program manager, told the gathering. “You had almost 23 percent participation, which is fantastic.”

A trophy for best campus participation went to the Denver Campus.

The Colorado Springs campus had 17 percent participation, Anschutz Medical Campus had 16 percent and the Boulder campus posted almost 15 percent participation.

Heywood said the goal next year is 50 percent participation. She noted that 60 people at the screenings discovered they had a health problem they were unaware of.

“That’s why we’re doing this,” she said. “This is a very convenient way for people to get those basic preventive tests and see how we’re doing.”

Provost Rod Nairn said healthful habits make people’s lives and work more fulfilling. “Be Colorado brings out the best in us. Together we’re creating a wonderful, outstanding urban campus,” Nairn said. “As a university, we’ve got the opportunity to redefine wellness in collaboration with our colleagues at all of our campuses.”

Also presenting at the awards ceremony were E. Jill Pollock, vice president of Employee and Information Services, and Marcy Benson, wife of CU President Bruce Benson, and honorary chairwoman of Be Colorado.

“Thanks Marcy and Jill for helping make the University of Colorado a workplace that exemplifies what it means to Be Colorado,” Nairn said.

Benson said Be Colorado offers a well-rounded approach to wellness and healthful living.

“One of the great things about the program is it goes beyond our physical health to our financial and intellectual health,” she said.

The next leg of the program is a Healthy Through the Holidays campaign, which runs through Jan. 13. Employees are encouraged to register at to receive daily tips and healthy recipes that promote healthy lifestyles during the stressful holiday season. Registered participants will be eligible for weekly prize drawings of iPod Shuffles and at the end of the campaign one iPod Nano winner will be randomly selected from each campus across the university system, including at the University Physicians, Inc., and the University of Colorado Hospital.

Twenty-five randomly drawn Denver campus participants in this fall’s Be Colorado assessments received $50 gift cards to REI. Winners are being notified by Human Resources. Five people won stadium blankets in a drawing held by TIAA-CREF representatives. A dozen winners of iPads were also announced, randomly selected among health assessment participants at all four campuses.

(Photo: Gabrielle Sawusch, left, an administrative assistant in the School of Public Affairs, receives a $50 REI gift certificate from Risa Heywood, CU health promotion program manager, during the awards drawing at the Be Colorado recognition event Dec. 2 in the Terrace Room.)

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