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McMaster Okanagan Office of Health & Well-being

Prioritizing Optimal Health & Well-being at McMaster

About Us

Our Purpose

The McMaster Okanagan Office of Health & Well-being is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of McMaster students, staff, and faculty through research, collaboration, and campus-wide initiatives.

We are guided by the Okanagan Charter, which was developed during the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. The Charter provides higher education institutions with a common language, principles, and framework to become health and well-being promoting campuses.

In 2017, McMaster University signed the Okanagan Charter and committed to integrating health and well-being into all aspects of campus life. The Charter provides an opportunity to further health and well-being and ultimately create a Brighter World for all.

2015: The Okanagan Charter was developed during the International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges, held at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus.

2017: McMaster University, with the approval of the University Senate and Board of Governors, signed the Okanagan Charter. McMaster became one of the earliest adopters of the Okanagan Charter and one of the first in Ontario.

2018: The McMaster Okanagan Working Group was struck and tasked with providing leadership, coordination and oversight of initiatives related to the Calls to Action and McMaster’s commitments to the Charter. This Working Group was chaired by Dr. Paul O’Byrne, Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences. 

2019: The McMaster Okanagan Working Group was renamed the McMaster Okanagan Committee (MOC) and official Terms of Reference were adopted.

2023: The McMaster Okanagan Committee administrative office evolved into the McMaster Okanagan Office of Health & Well-being. A committee of representatives from various areas of administration, research, and education at McMaster continue to guide our Office and initiatives. 

The Okanagan Charter has two Calls to Action for higher education institutions:

  1. Embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates.
  2. Lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.

Upon signing the Okanagan Charter in 2017, the University’s governing bodies approved the following McMaster-specific commitments to the Charter:

  1. McMaster commits to support the inclusion of health and well-being in the University’s strategic planning processes and to seek to embed considerations of health, wellness and sustainability in our institutional policies and decision-making processes.
  2. McMaster strives to nurture and support our students, faculty and staff to be as healthy as they can be and to create an inclusive, supportive and healthy educational environment and workplace.
  3. McMaster commits to support a thriving community, both within and beyond the borders of our campus, and strives to engage with and be a proactive, responsive and collaborative partner in our local and broader communities.
  4. McMaster commits to support the integration of educational initiatives and opportunities related to health and well-being across multiple disciplines, to foster an understanding of and commitment to health and wellness throughout the community.
  5. McMaster strives to advance research, education and training to promote and support health and well-being on a global scale, and commits to nurturing partnerships and collaborations, locally, nationally and internationally, to develop and mobilise such knowledge in support of a healthier planet.

Explore all McMaster commitments to the Okanagan Charter.