Through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), outreach efforts are underway to encourage academic institutions to adopt the CEO Cancer Gold Standard, a no cost employer-led health and wellness initiative that recognizes exceptional workplaces committed to reducing the burden of cancer for their employees.

The Gold Standard Website now includes a University Toolkit that provides resources specifically geared toward colleges and universities looking to join other prominent academic institutions that have earned this distinguished accreditation, like The Ohio State University, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and academic medical centers like the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The Gold Standard provides a framework through which all employers, including universities, can lead by example — both on and off campus. More than 200 employers have met the Gold Standard of excellence in cancer prevention, early detection and quality care for their employees including health and wellness influencers like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) and noted employers of choice like Johnson & Johnson, SAS, and State Farm.

“Outstanding faculty, staff and students are the core of any great university,” says Jay Maddock, PhD, FAAHB, Dean of the Gold Standard accredited Texas A&M School of Public Health. “Creating a worksite that promotes health should be an essential task of any university leader. The CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation provides a toolbox to accomplish this.”

To earn Gold Standard accreditation, an employer must take concrete actions to reduce the risk and burden of cancer: prohibit tobacco use and support tobacco cessation efforts; promote physical activity, healthy nutrition and weight management; provide health insurance options that include detecting cancer at its earliest stages, access to quality care and participation in cancer clinical trials; promote employee awareness of these initiatives; and support the needs of cancer survivors in the workplace. 

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