Gateway Launches Healthy Campus Initiative | GCTC

Gateway Launches Healthy Campus Initiative

Gateway Community & Technical College said today it is launching a Healthy Place to Work and Learn initiative that includes a tobacco-free campus policy effective Jan. 1, 2014. The policy bans the use of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, on any campus property, inside and outside.

Beginning now, we are introducing an initiative to make Gateway a healthy place to work and learn, said Gateway President/CEO Ed Hughes, who announced the program at the colleges board of directors meeting Sept. 19. The initiative will focus on encouraging our employees, staff and students to participate in fitness activities, adopt healthy eating habits, practice effective stress management techniques, and forgo tobacco in all its forms. The college already has drug-free policies in effect.

Gateway will roll out an extensive communications campaign this fall to educate students, employees and campus visitors about the healthy campus initiative, including the tobacco-free policy. The policy applies college-wide to all properties owned, leased, operated or controlled by Gateway in all locations, including Covington, Edgewood, Florence and Grant County. It applies to employees, students and visitors to Gateway buildings, structures, sidewalks, parking lots and vehicles, including personal vehicles parked on Gateway property.

The Healthy Place to Work and Learn initiative is being developed and implemented by a team of faculty and staff, Hughes said. The idea is to educate and empower our students and employees, as well as visitors, to take good care of themselves so they can enjoy a long and healthy life and minimize their healthcare costs. Prevention is the best medicine.

Hughes added the concept of a tobacco-free campus has been reviewed and discussed by all affected constituencies. He noted that Gateway is among 770 U.S. colleges and universities that are tobacco free, including Kentucky Community and Technical College System colleges in Ashland, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Maysville and Owensboro. Northern Kentucky University has announced plans to go tobacco free in January, and the University of Kentucky has been tobacco free since 2008.

Part of Gateway's healthy campus outreach will involve providing measures that can help tobacco users quit if they choose or learn about nicotine replacement or other adaptive techniques involving nutrition, fitness activities, and mental health resources. In addition, Gateway's benefits plan provides participants with access to wellness activities.

Gateway's healthy-campus initiative is in its initial phase of implementation and will be refined throughout the coming year.