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Mount Saint Mary's is the first women's university in the United States to join the Partnership for a Healthier America.

Mount Saint Mary’s University joins the Partnership for a Healthier America

The Mount commits to deliver healthier options and promote more opportunities for physical activity to help improve the health of students, faculty and staff.

May 12, 2017 / Los Angeles — The Mount Wellness movement is pushing forward again.   

Today, Mount Saint Mary’s University announced it will join the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which works with the private sector and PHA honorary chair former First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier, in a three-year commitment to implement guidelines around food and nutrition, and physical activity and wellness programming. This initiative will positively impact the more than 3,300 students across the Mount’s two campuses, hundreds of faculty and staff, and surrounding communities.

The University signs on as a part of PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, which includes more than 50 colleges and universities, collectively impacting more than 1.2 million students, faculty and staff across the United States. Mount Saint Mary’s is the first women’s university to join the PHA, and one of just five universities in California to be part of this bold, collective commitment.

"We're excited to be part of a national vanguard that is leading and showing the way when it comes to healthy living," says University President Ann McElaney-Johnson. "Creating strong, confident, resilient leaders is what Mount Saint Mary's is all about, and it's why our own campus-wide Mount Wellness movement exists." 

The University’s Mount Wellness movement, which launched in February 2017, takes a comprehensive approach to promoting personal health and wellbeing in ways that are both inclusive and empowering. The goal is to encourage students, faculty and staff to embrace a healthy, resilient lifestyle, built on four key concepts: move more, eat green, de-stress and sleep well.

Now, as a new member of the PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative pledge, Mount Saint Mary’s has also agreed to implement the following guidelines over the next three years:

Food & Nutrition

  1. Provide healthier food and beverage service in campus-operated dining venues every operational day by:
  • Offering at least one wellness meal during breakfast, lunch and dinner.  
  • Offering at least five types of fruits, five types of vegetables and two 100% whole grain products at lunch and dinner.  
  • Offering only a total number of fried foods that does not exceed the total number of platforms available at both lunch and dinner across all platforms.  
  • Listing calories of food & beverage items or using a “healthy icon” to designate healthier food and beverage options at the point of presentation.  
  • Implementing a comprehensive, strategic product placement/merchandise program/policy to encourages healthier food within dining venues.
  • Offering a plant-based food option at all food stations serving meat.
  1. Implement a local food or sustainability program in campus food service by:
  • Implementing a local food procurement program that increases procurement of local and sustainable foods.
  1. Provide healthier vending options on campus by ensuring that a minimum of 50% of vending machines offer only healthier food and beverage products or 50% of each vending machine content is healthier food and beverage products. 
  2. Provide healthier catering services on campus by:
  • Creating a healthier catering menu by offering a minimum of three types of fruits, three types of beverages, two 100% whole grain products and no more than two fried items on catering menus or by offering a catering menu that only includes foods and beverages that meet healthier food and nutrition guidelines.
  1. Promote water consumption on campus by offering free water in all dining venues and all educational/physical activity facilities.

Physical Activity & Movement

  1. Create a built environment that encourages healthier choices on campus by:
  • Providing marked walking routes on campus and make a route map available.  
  • Posting signage at all designated or marked crosswalks on campus that requires cars to stop for pedestrians.
  • Implementing a campus-wide program/policy that incentivizes the use of public or campus provided transportation.
  1. Encourage student physical activity/movement through facilities and programs on campus during the academic year by:
  • Dedicating at least 75% of the primary campus recreation center floor space to areas for physical activity.  
  • Offering at least one “how to” physical activity/movement class that introduces students to new activities free of charge each month.  
  • Offering all incoming students fitness/recreation center orientation and one fitness assessment each year free of cost.
  1. Encourage outdoor physical activity/movement on campus by:
  • Providing an outdoor fitness system.  
  • Offering at least one free, organized and facilitated, outdoor physical activity/movement opportunity each week. 
  • Offering a rental outdoor recreation equipment program for students.
  1. Provide trained physical activity/movement professionals on campus.

Wellness Programming

  1. Implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus that is provided annually.
  1. Implement other wellness programs on campus that include:
  • Implementing a program/policy that identifies students who may be food insecure and provides options on campus.  
  • Implementing a program/policy that supports and accommodates breastfeeding for mothers on campus.

“Colleges and universities are in a unique position to help shape tomorrow’s leaders, no matter where their education takes them,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We know that going to college is a time of change for many students—we also know that means it’s a time when new habits are formed. By creating healthier food and physical activity environments today, campuses and universities are encouraging healthier habits that will carry over into tomorrow.”

For more information on PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, visit For additional info on the Mount’s own Mount Wellness movement, check out

About Mount Saint Mary’s University  
Mount Saint Mary’s is the only women’s university in Los Angeles and one of the most diverse in the nation. The University is known nationally for its research on gender equity, its innovative health and science programs, and its commitment to community service. As a leading liberal arts institution, Mount Saint Mary’s provides year-round, flexible and online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Weekend, evening and graduate programs are offered to both women and men. Mount alums are engaged, active, global citizens who use their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world.

About the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA)
The PHA is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

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