Upper Iowa University was recognized today (Friday, January 13) in Washington, D.C., for completing the White House Healthy Campus Challenge. UIU Director of Counseling and Wellness Crystal Cole and UIU Director of Career Development Hope Trainor were among representatives of approximately 60 colleges and universities from across the country selected to attend the event. Healthy Campus Challenge Day is one of the last scheduled public events to be held at the White House during President Barack Obama’s term in office.
Announced in September 2016, the White House Healthy Campus Challenge aimed to engage college and university campuses in the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace Open Enrollment efforts. White House staff members worked with administrators, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and local community leaders and elected officials to reach the uninsured on participating campuses and in the surrounding community.
Cole explained that a number of outreach initiatives were included as part of the Challenge. UIU spread the word to students and community members about open enrollment and how to sign up for healthcare coverage. Cole spoke at a Fayette City Council meeting and left informational flyers at the City Hall. She also partnered with the Fayette County Farm Bureau Office in Fayette, which served as a reference point for members of the public who had questions about the various healthcare plans and the registration process.
More than 350 campuses from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico participated in the Challenge and carried out some enrollment activities. Nearly 100 campuses completing all the criteria. After successfully completing various Open Enrollment outreach actions, Upper Iowa was recognized as a White House Healthy Campus in December 2016 and more recently was selected to attend the January 13 Healthy Campus Challenge Day.
“This recognition is a reflection of the fact that UIU provides various means for students to become insured,” said Cole. “The Healthy Campus Challenge also showcased the partnership and collaborative efforts we share with our entire community.”
“UIU’s commitment to students is evidenced by the many ways in which we seek to provide service and support to students, alumni and our community,” added Trainor. “The White House Healthy Campus Challenge was another example of a successful collaboration between the community and the various University departments.”
The two UIU representatives were among those participating in the event, which was held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, South Court Auditorium, on the White House complex. First Lady Michelle Obama later spoke to those in attendance.