With the recent signing of the Okanagan Charter by President Ray L. Watts, UAB has become the first Health Promoting University in the U.S.


Titusville Mural Painting LHSA Nov20

Health Promoting Universities are guided by the Okanagan Charter and are an international community that works to transform the health and sustainability of current and future societies. To be a part of the charter, each HPU has its own strategic plan for how it implements the health promotion of its community. For UAB, these strategies include;


  • Live HealthSmart Alabama
  • Exercise is Medicine
  • Signature Core Curriculum
  • Birmingham Health District and Tobacco Free Campus
  • Diversity Education and other Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programming
  • Sustainability
  • UAB Cares Suicide Prevention and Intervention Initiative


U.S. Health Promoting Campuses Network Executive Committee chair, Rebecca Kennedy, Ph.D., says, “The Okanagan Charter outlines two calls to action, both of which UAB is already actively engaged in. As leaders in health care, we understand that the mere absence of disease in an individual does not necessarily indicate a climate of well-being for all. Creating a climate for health and well-being is an active process dependent on all of us to recognize we are interconnected as people and require a healthy, sustainable environment to thrive in.”


As Live HealthSmart Alabama continues to gain momentum in the community and works to make our demonstration zones a healthier place to live, we will keep in mind the call to action put before UAB by the Okanagan Charter. Using key focus areas—physical activity, healthy eating, and health & wellness—we are excited to be one of the strategic areas that help bring UAB to the global stage for health promotion action and collaboration.