University one of few nationwide to receive American Heart Association recognition

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (May 3, 2007) – On April 28, representatives from the American Heart Association visited the headquarters of A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Mo., to recognize the institution for its outstanding efforts to create a fitness- and wellness-friendly environment on its campuses in Kirksville and Mesa, Ariz. ATSU is the only institution in Arizona to receive any level of recognition, and one of only four in Missouri.

Dan Martin, director of ATSU’s Thompson Campus Center and the university’s unofficial “fitness guy,” said recognition from the American Heart Association was especially important because of the Association’s reputation nationwide as a health information and policy resource.

“When the American Heart Association says something, from CPR techniques to blood pressure management to exercise routines, people take it as fact and act immediately,” Martin said. “That they have recognized ATSU as the gold-standard for fit-friendly work and education environments is a great endorsement of our university and an incentive to work everyday to make them even better.”

The Association evaluated organizations based on physical activities offered or encouraged; nutrition policies, alternatives, or incentives; and institutional culture.

“At A.T. Still University, our core values, which are derived from the principles of osteopathic medicine, include a strong focus on personal wellness and fitness and prevention over treatment,” said James McGovern, Ph.D., president of ATSU. “Providing wellness and fitness options to our faculty, staff, and students not only follows our institutional mission, but it’s good common sense when you’re talking about the bottom line of a business and controlling costs.”