Read more about the origins, updates and exciting events you can participate in through the Wellness Coalition at IU School of Medicine.
The IU School of Medicine Wellness Coalition (WC) started in the Fall of 2018. The group brought together existing student organizations who all had a focus on student wellness to operate as a united front to make decisions about student wellness, work with the administration to inform decisions about student wellness, and to provide cohesive programming and events for student well-being. At the time of its origin, the WC had representation from the Wellness Committee, FIRM, MedTalks, Reflections, Gold Humanism Honor Society, the Vital Healing Project and the Psych SIG. Largely piloted in Indianapolis in its first year, the coalition hosted two events per month, all based on the eight dimensions of wellness, which include environmental, emotional, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual.
In recent years, the Wellness Coalition has joined forces with Medical Student Council and structured itself with officer positions, absorbing the Wellness Committee, and creating chair positions for each dimension of wellness. Our VP of Wellness (Coalition Chairperson) sits on the MSC board and meets regularly with administration and our advisor, Kristen Heath, Statewide Wellness Coordinator. Our team also consists of wellness representatives on each regional campus and for each class year in phase 1.
Check out some of the projects and events that we are currently working on below:
Events, Activities, and Projects for Students:
Earth Day watch parties and sustainability efforts on all campuses (Environmental Wellness)
Weekly yoga classes in-person and on Zoom (Physical Wellness)
Journaling Workshops (Emotional Wellness)
The White Coat Investor Book Discussion (Financial Wellness)
Sporting events tickets and mixers at local restaurants (Social Wellness)
Intro to Knitting (Intellectual Wellness)
Amusement park tickets (Social Wellness)
Meditation sessions (Spiritual Wellness)
Access to Daly Gym with new and improved equipment (Physical Wellness)
Academic & Administrative Projects:
Wellness Town Halls
Student-lead clerkship debriefs
Centralized Feedback Forms regarding wellness concerns
Regional campus and Indianapolis peer contacts for students on rotations
Research on student barriers to wellness
Involvement in national academic meetings regarding medical student education and wellness
Improving the wellness website and communication between the Wellness Coalition and student body
Events Supported, Planned, &/or Funded by the Wellness Coalition:
Wellness Student Breakouts at Orientation
Post-exam Healthy Snacks
Vital Healing Project
Peer Mentor Events
We would love for you to meet our team and feel free to reach out to our Chair if you have any wellness concerns or if you have an idea for an event, program, and/or solution to improve student well-being. Joe can also connect you with other members of the Wellness Coalition (or with one of our partnering SIGs).
West Lafayette: Brian Niebuhr, Jennifer Teeling, John Sakaleros, Ethan Goins, Leah Dauterman
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Kristen Heath is a Lead Advisor in the Mentoring & Advising Program at IU School of Medicine. She has worked in higher education for over eight years, starting her career off on Air Force Bases teaching Psychology coursework. She is passionate about lifelong learning and devotion to personal well-being. When she is not in the advising office you can find her teaching Zumba, dancing, or riding bikes with her son, Ryder. She is a fan of the outdoors and loves to camp, hike and garden.