UT Southwestern Recognition — September 2011

AFIL names medical center its Employer of the Year

UT Southwestern recently has been recognized as the Employer of the Year by the Association for Independent Living (AFIL). The relationship between AFIL and UT Southwestern began in 1979.

AFIL is a transitional residential program for young adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities. Students move onto a Life Skills campus and strive to become independent by securing a job and maintaining their own household, with the goal of graduating to apartments throughout the community.

“Since employment is vital to independence, it is befitting of AFIL to recognize the significant role that UT Southwestern has played in the growth and development of AFIL students and graduates,” said Howard Dahlka, Executive Director of AFIL. “The AFIL students and graduates who have been blessed with the opportunity to be employees of such a reputable company are extremely grateful and appreciative for their employment at UT Southwestern.”

Nine students have worked at UT Southwestern as a result of the AFIL program, one of whom recently retired from the Landscape Services after 34 years. Students work in the cafeteria and in the Pathology, Internal Medicine and Materials Management departments in addition to Landscape Services. Lengths of employment for the AVIL students range from a few months to 31 years.

UT Southwestern cited as a Start! Fit-Friendly Company

UT Southwestern has been recognized as a “Gold Level” Start! Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association based on programs and activities offered through the UT Southwestern Employee Wellness Program. Fit-Friendly Companies are recognized as employers who go above and beyond when it comes to the health of employees.

Awarded twice annually, “Gold-level” recognition is for companies that fulfill criteria such as offering employees physical activity support, increasing healthy eating options at work and promoting a wellness culture. Employers can nominate their companies through an online application on the American Heart Association website.

UT Southwestern was recognized for its efforts in developing campus walking paths to motivate employees to start walking, creating a Healthy Options logo to identify healthy food items in cafeterias and food court areas, implementing an onsite weight management program to promote healthy lifestyle behavior, and for hosting a number of wellness fairs and health related Lunch N’ Learn educational sessions.

“The Employee Wellness Program is one of the many benefits we have implemented as one of our Strategic Initiatives to help make UT Southwestern a top workplace,” said Dr. William Behrendt, Vice President, Human Resources. “To be recognized as a Start! Fit-Friendly Company is certainly an honor and speaks to the commitment and hard work done by the Wellness Committees and our employees.”