UA to Launch Signature Health and Wellness Program

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Faculty and staff at The University of Alabama will enjoy an added benefit this year — optimal health courtesy of WellBama, UA’s signature wellness program. Designed to promote health and improve the quality of life for all employees, this free, personalized program will debut at an official launch ceremony on April 14 at 11 a.m. on the front steps of Rose Administration Building.

Following a successful pilot program in 2007, WellBama’s free health screening and health coaching will be extended to all faculty and staff on a college, school and division basis in 2009. WellBama is a program of the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, in partnership with the Capstone College of Nursing, the Division of Financial Affairs and the College of Community Health Sciences.

“One of the great traditions of the University of Alabama is to provide programs and resources that engage and enrich the lives of our employees and their family members,” said Dr. Judy Bonner, executive vice president and provost at UA. “WellBama is designed to promote wellness and quality of life. It is my hope that every employee will embrace the opportunity to participate in this life-changing program,” she added.

WellBama screenings include an annual health assessment for every employee. Each month, health professionals staffed by the Capstone College of Nursing and the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion will set up WellBama screening stations at designated college and division locations on campus.

Screening takes about 20 minutes and documents each individual’s health history and includes body measurements, blood pressure readings and quick, comprehensive blood work to evaluate current cholesterol, glucose, and triglyceride levels. Health screenings are followed by health coaching, with a referral for a free physical exam available to WellBama participants at the University Medical Center.

“Once we have an idea of a participant’s current health status, we can tailor our health coaching to ensure that they have access to the programs and tools they need to improve their overall wellness,” said Dr. Rebecca Kelly, director of the UA Office of Health Promotion and Wellness.

“WellBama is a gateway to a wide range of resources, from tobacco cessation and diabetes management, to nutrition counseling and inspirational programs like Spring Training, Strive for Five and Scale Back which all encourage improved health and well-being,” she noted.

The overarching goal of WellBama is to provide faculty and staff who are committed to improving their health and well-being with opportunities to reach their goals. Categorized by Bronze, Silver, Gold and Crimson health and wellness levels, WellBama participants can evaluate their progress actively from year to year.

Janet Thompson, manager of fiscal affairs for the Capstone College of Nursing, has experienced the benefits of the University’s wellness programs first hand. An active participant in almost all of its offerings since 2007, Thompson learned that she had high blood pressure when she took part in the WellBama pilot at the 2008 Health Fair. Determined to improve her numbers by exercising and eating better, Thompson moved from the WellBama Silver club to the WellBama Gold club by improving eating habits, increasing exercise, and lowering her body weight and blood pressure over a six-month period.

“My exercise went from zero to four days per week,” Thompson said. “I was shocked to see the quick improvement – in such a short time. My motivation continues by the support of my co-workers. Together we work out four times a week at the Aquatic Center’s noon exercise classes. I am glad the Wellness Program is here and it has worked for me,” she added.

For more information regarding the WellBama screening schedule, and upcoming health programs for faculty and staff, contact the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness at 205/348-0077 or

The University of Alabama’s Office of Health Promotion and Wellness offers programs, resources, and services to advance the health of the employees and their family members.


Dana Lewis or Linda Hill, UA Media Relations, 205/348-8325,


Dr. Rebecca Kelly, UA Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, 205/348-0077,