An important contributor to improving the health of Oklahomans is providing opportunities to make healthier choices where they live, work, learn, pray and play. The Certified Healthy Oklahoma programs help meet this challenge by recognizing those communities, schools, businesses, campuses, early childhood programs, congregations and restaurants which encourage health-focused behaviors and policies.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds organizations that applications are still being accepted for Certified Healthy Oklahoma’s seven categories of certification:

The Certified Healthy Business program recognizes workplaces that provide healthy living opportunities to their employees.

The Certified Healthy Campus program recognizes colleges and Career Technology Centers that provide a healthy environment for faculty and students.

The Certified Healthy Community program recognizes communities that offer citizens a healthy place to live, work, learn and play.

The Certified Healthy Congregation program recognizes communities of all faiths that provide health and wellness opportunities to their members and/or attendees and staff.

The Certified Healthy Early Childhood Program recognizes early childhood programs that are providing a healthy environment for children and their families, as well as their staff.

The Certified Healthy Restaurant program recognizes restaurants that provide healthy food options to their customers.

The Certified Healthy School program recognizes schools that are teaching students and staff how to be healthy.

Commissioner of Health Gary Cox said organizations who are Certified Healthy are role models in their communities for implementing practices and policies which make it easier to make health and wellness a priority.

“Every organization which becomes certified brings us one step closer to being a healthier state with a healthier workforce and stronger families,” said Cox. “We encourage organizations to apply and consider how they are making the healthy choice the easy choice for employees, students, residents and customers.”

Each program has three levels of certification: Basic, Merit and Excellence. Applications must be submitted by Nov. 1 for certification consideration. Award winners will be notified in December and acknowledged at an awards ceremony in March.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma programs are a joint effort of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, The State Chamber, The Oklahoma Academy, Oklahoma Turning Point Council, and numerous other partners who are helping to shape a healthier future for Oklahoma.

Criteria details and application information for all Certified Healthy Oklahoma programs are now available on the Certified Healthy Oklahoma website at www.certifiedhealthyok.com.