Oklahoma’s State Department of Health (OSDH) has announced they are currently accepting applications for the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program.
The program serves as an opportunity to “make healthier choices where people live, work, learn, play and pray,” and will include an assessment to help organizations figure out where they are when it comes to supporting health, an abundance of resources to help organizations create a healthier environment and an annual certification award highlighting organizations which actively promote health and wellness through practices and policies, according to OSDH. The application period will close Nov. 1.
Gov. Kevin Stitt said the program, which is open to seven different categories including businesses, schools, campuses, communities, congregations, early childhood programs and restaurants, will put the spotlight on health, which ultimately turns into success for Oklahomans.
“Health is a vital element to the success of our state and people,” Stitt said. “I look forward to seeing the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program continue to help and encourage Oklahomans to come together as a community in order to move the needle and improve health outcomes in our great state.”
Tom Bates, interim Health Commissioner, said altogether, they are pleased with the growth of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program.
“Last year, more than 2,200 applicants received certification,” Bates said. “We encourage this year’s potential applicants to consider how they are making the healthy choice the easy choice for their employees, customers, students, and residents, and submit an application for Certified Healthy Oklahoma certification.”
According to OSDH, three levels of certification are available, including Basic, Merit and Excellence. All applicants will be notified of their awarded certification level in December and formally acknowledged at a ceremony in March 2020. OSDH hopes organizations will come in at the highest level, but anyone qualifying for a basic level can continue work and make changes and improvements to reach a higher certified healthy level.
Previous Certified Healthy Oklahoma programs recognized in Stephens County included a total of 46 area schools, businesses and hospitals which were awarded the status in 2018. That doubles the 2015 number of just 22 receiving the certification.
For more information to to apply, visit www.certifiedhealthyok.com.
The Certified Healthy Oklahoma program offers certifications in seven different categories:
• Certified Healthy Business - Any employer providing their employees with opportunities to make healthier choices.
• Certified Healthy School – Schools modeling and teaching students and staff how to be healthy.
• Certified Healthy Campus - Colleges and career technology centers providing a healthy environment for faculty and students.
• Certified Healthy Community - Communities offering citizens a healthy place to live, work, learn, play and pray.
• Certified Healthy Congregation - Faith-based organizations providing health and wellness opportunities to their members and/or attendees and staff.
• Certified Healthy Early Childhood Program - Early childhood programs providing a healthy environment for children and their families, as well as their staff.
• Certified Healthy Restaurant - Restaurants providing healthy food options to their customers and healthier environments for their staff.