Lakehead University launching Wellness Strategy to support students, faculty and staff

January 25, 2021 – Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead University is launching its first Wellness Strategy on Monday, Jan. 25, acknowledging nine dimensions of wellness and describing a plan to support the wellness needs of students, faculty, and staff.

The plan’s mission is to embed systemic health and wellness practices and services into the University, to support the well-being of the communities where faculty, staff and students work, study and live.

“Through the Wellness Strategy, we are furthering our commitment to support the holistic health and well-being of our Lakehead community, recognizing that investing in the enhancement of health and wellness will better position our students for success in the classroom and as they enter the workforce upon graduation,” said Andrea Tarsitano, Vice-Provost, Students, and Registrar.

The development of Lakehead University’s Wellness Strategy has been influenced and supported by Lakehead University’s current Strategic Plan, Academic Plan, and Research Plan, all of which contributed to the objectives, metrics and strategies described in the plan.

It was also developed after consulting with members of the University community who provided feedback on what they hoped to see in the plan.

“The launch of our Wellness Strategy represents a seminal moment for our Lakehead community in striving toward our vision of an inclusive University that supports the diverse and shared wellness needs of our students, staff, and faculty,” said Adam Shaen, Associate Vice-President, Office of Human Resources.

The strategy acknowledges the following dimensions of wellness: social, physical, occupational, intellectual, financial, environmental, emotional, cultural, and spiritual.

Living a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle is even more important since COVID-19 arrived in Canada last year. 

Some of the plan’s objectives include embedding the wellness of students into the onboarding and orientation of new faculty and staff hires, developing more web resources to increase understanding of the services and supports available to students, and applying a health and wellness lens into the Facilities Master Plan highlighting the importance of light, windows, open communal spaces, etc.

Educational institutions across Canada have been advancing their overall perspectives on wellness over the past decade. In 2015, the Okanagan Charter was developed, calling on post-secondary institutions to embed health into all aspects of campus culture and to lead health promotion action and collaboration both locally and globally.

On March 20, 2019, Lakehead University marked the official beginning of its commitment towards the development of a Wellness Strategy that would support, encourage and inspire a culture of holistic health and well-being for the Lakehead community.

Lakehead Thunder Bay and Lakehead Orillia hosted kick-off events called Our Trail to Wellness and the Okanagan Charter was officially signed by Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor, and Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, Principal of Lakehead Orillia.

To view the Wellness Strategy, visit


 Media:  For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s University Rankings 2021; as well as included in the top half of the Times Higher Education 2020 World University Rankings for the second consecutive year, and 98th among 766 universities from around the world in THE's 2020 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit

Our Trail to Wellness Lakehead University's wellness strategy on a background of a tree growing out of the earth