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Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine among first in the nation to achieve WELL Certification for medical education building

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has been awarded a WELL Certification at the Silver level for Heritage Hall, the college’s new, state-of-the-art medical training facility on the Athens campus. This is one of the first medical education facilities in the nation to earn this achievement from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

“By designing with the WELL Building Standard, the Heritage College has imbued our wellness philosophy into our learning, teaching and working environment. It gives me great pride to know that we are ‘walking the walk’ of wellbeing through a facility that fosters the very type of healthy lifestyle that osteopathic medicine promotes,” said Ken Johnson, D.O., executive dean of the Heritage College and chief medical affairs officer for Ohio University. “I would like to personally thank all who contributed to our design and construction efforts. Because of your dedication, Heritage Hall is a wonderful testament to the values of the osteopathic medical profession.” 

WELL is a roadmap for supporting the health and well-being of people and organizations. The WELL Building Standard is a library of holistic evidence-based building and organizational strategies that, when implemented, can improve the health and well-being of people.

“Congratulations to Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine for achieving WELL Certification, setting a bar for leadership in higher education and medicine,” said Rachel Hodgdon, IWBI president and CEO. “Woven into its everyday mission, Ohio University continues to demonstrate a strong dedication to health and well-being, embracing WELL and marking its commitment to people-first places."

Heritage Hall, which opened in 2021, has implemented numerous WELL features including: healthy food choices at an in-house café, a fully-equipped fitness facility, mindfulness and lactation rooms, quiet study spaces as well as flexible, collaborative spaces, bike racks, sky lights, a lighting design that promotes health and comfort, filtered water at every faucet and design elements, such as prominent staircases and a 1/8 mile track, that encourage movement inside the building.

Earning WELL Certification of Heritage Hall was a long time in the making, which started with the initial vision for the facility that became integral to its construction. The final result was a building that works in concert with the curriculum, expresses holistic health in its structure and function and encourages connection and physical activity.

The construction of Heritage Hall was made possible by a major gift from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations. The OHF’s historic $105 million award to the college in 2011 included $21 million for the building’s construction.

February 14, 2024
Staff reports