SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University just got a little healthier.
Healthy U of Delmarva opened its new home at 103 Power Street during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, March 4.
Healthy U officially became part of SU’s affiliated community outreach network at the beginning of this year. Founded in 2002 by civic leader Mitzi Perdue, Healthy U takes a community approach to better living through diet, exercise and other habits.
“As the new home of Healthy U, Salisbury University is proud to promote healthy lifestyles and to uphold the legacy of Mitzi Perdue, a true civic leader and friend to our region and this campus,” said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach. “Salisbury University’s student body has been recognized as one of the most physically fit in the country and the Healthy U program is something our campus will embrace. We are honored that Mitzi has selected the University to carry on her important work.”
According to national statistics, Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties report more obesity than the U.S. average. Additionally, the number of people in Wicomico County using tobacco is also higher. Perdue said she believed through research, SU could help curb these outcomes.
“Having Salisbury University in charge of Healthy U is for me, a dream come true,” said Perdue. “The University, with its ability to provide academic rigor to the study of community health improvement, will be able to take Healthy U to a much higher level than any individual ever could. Now I'm dreaming that more people than ever will experience the energy, the zest, the longer and healthier lives that improved lifestyles can provide.”
SU plans to continue many of the Healthy U traditions founded by Perdue, including keeping membership free and offering monthly prize drawings. Organized activities, including group walks and even scavenger hunts, will be offered at no cost to members. A membership card good for discounts at local businesses is also available.
“SU has tremendous student, faculty and staff resources to assist individuals and businesses in becoming successful in meeting their goals,” said Jennifer Berkman, director of SU Student Health Services. “Our faculty have a wealth of knowledge to share and can guide students in this opportunity to learn about the importance of community involvement and the benefits of being a part of such a large and meaningful project.”
Individual departments also will aid Healthy U’s development at SU: “The Health, Physical Education and Human Performance Department is anticipating the development of strong collaborative efforts,” said Dr. Susan Muller, department chair. “We will be working closely with the administrative staff of Healthy U to establish events that will bring the community and the university together in efforts to promote healthy activities.”
Berkman and Muller, along with Sid Schneider, director of SU’s Applied Health Physiology graduate program, represent SU on the Healthy U advisory board.
The ever-popular Huey awards will continue, rewarding individuals and groups who do the most to better their health each year. Members may join Healthy U not only as individuals, but as businesses, schools, churches and government organizations, as well. SU will also increase the types of data available to members at the time of registration—including waist and waist-to-hip ratios—giving them even more information on how they can strike a healthier life balance.
“With championship NCAA Division III field hockey and men’s lacrosse teams and a strong intramural program, SU has a longstanding commitment to healthy lifestyles,” said Amy Waters, director of leadership giving and stewardship, who oversees the Healthy U program. “As the new home of Healthy U, the University is proud to help promote these lifestyles.”
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Here’s What Healthy U Board Members Are Saying:
“In an area of Maryland where health issues have been a major concern, Mitzi Perdue's goal in creating Healthy U was to inspire healthy bodies and healthy minds. Those of us who have been involved in the Healthy U experience are pleased to see Salisbury University, with its access to greater resources, assume the challenge of continuing Mitzi’s goal.”
—Daniel Long, Maryland Circuit Court Judge, Somerset County
“Healthy U is a great organization for present and future generations. The organization promotes an abundance of opportunities for individuals and families to enjoy healthy lifestyles in order to sustain and preserve the fruits of life.”
—Dr. Judylynn Mitchell, Supervisor of Elementary Education, Wicomico County Public Schools
“The benefit of a program like Healthy U is its dynamic and compounding results. The beneficiaries can be far reaching— individuals, families, friends and employers—potentially reducing some demand on our healthcare system.”
—Dennis R. Hudson, Merrill Lynch
“Healthy U and SU are a perfect fit. Both are about educating people, with Healthy U focusing on the importance of exercise and healthy eating.”
—Dr. George Whitehead, SU Psychology Department