The Vision of Health: Cuyahoga Community College Honored with Silver Recognition by Exercise is Medicine® on Campus Committee 

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By Debra Gipson

Cuyahoga Community College has recently been honored with the Silver Level recognition by the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus Committee (EIM-OC), as highlighted in a commendatory letter from August (Gus) Rayce, MS, the Program Coordinator of EIM-OC. The letter applauds the college’s efforts to boost physical activity and wellness among both students and faculty, underscoring the college’s dedication to health and fitness.  

Lisa Leininger, Co-Chair of EIM-OC, stated that, “Cuyahoga Community College’s application stood out because the committee was impressed by the fact that the community college offers free exercise classes, low cost personal training and festivals paired with a 5k to bring together the community.”   

The commendation included an official Certificate of Recognition, affirming the institution’s notable achievements. Following this recognition, the college’s leadership team has been invited to attend the EIM-OC recognition ceremony at the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) Annual Meeting, which is set to take place in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, May 29th at 5:30 pm EST. This event will honor various institutions across the nation for their contributions to enhancing physical activity and wellness.  

EIM-OC encourages universities and colleges to view physical activity as a vital health sign and urges faculty, staff, and students to collaborate in enhancing the health and well-being of the campus community.  

Gus Rayce expressed his gratitude for the proactive measures taken by the college, stating, “Thank you for working diligently to make physical activity a standard on your campus. Your efforts truly make a difference!” He also mentioned the forthcoming processing of student memberships, highlighting the college’s continuous commitment to fostering a healthy campus environment. 

This accolade emphasizes Cuyahoga Community College’s leadership in promoting not only physical but also mental health within the academic community, and its steadfast commitment to the well-being of its students and staff. 

In April 2023, during an EIM-OC event hosted by the Sports and Exercise Studies Program, the college actively engaged with the community through diverse activities such as health screenings and fitness demonstrations, in collaboration with the Dietetic and Nursing Programs. The event, which saw participation from prominent health organizations including Cleveland Clinic and Southwest General Hospital, attracted approximately 300 attendees. The college also hosted discussions on maintaining physical health outside of the academic setting and offered personal training sessions and group fitness classes.  

Looking to the future, the college aims to deepen its commitment to health and wellness with the upcoming Wellness Fest to be held April 30, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Western Campus, featuring a range of activities including fitness exercises, therapy dogs, and physical and mental health screenings in collaboration with the Nursing Program and the Psychology Program. 

Student participant, Mariana Hidalgo Quiros, an avid runner, not only raced in Cuyahoga Community College’s fitness event, the Autumn Blaze 5k last year, she took first place in her age group. Today, she works with other students to prepare assessments, banners and testing equipment that will be used in Wellness Fest. ʺI look back over the last year or so and cannot believe the difference it makes. In 2023 I ran and in 2024 I am in the tent helping others by doing what I love,ʺ Quiros said before adding, ʺI am excited about all the ways Tri-C promotes health. It is not just about one exercise. It is about many not only for Cuyahoga Community College students and faculty but the community. I am excited about that.ʺ 

According to Holly Clemons, Ph.D., Professor of Sport and Exercise Studies at the Western Campus, the college aspires to achieve the Gold Level of recognition. ʺThe goal is to reach the gold level of recognition,” she stated. The college continues to be driven by the standards and certifications set forth by the ACSM. To help achieve this goal, the college has plans to further its partnerships with psychologists to provide mental health screenings, stress management and student activities that promote mental health fitness like yoga and meditation classes. 

Cuyahoga Community College is one of only 145 universities and colleges globally recognized this year by Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) for creating a wellness-centric campus environment. Of the 145 campuses recognized in 2023, 83 received Gold, 44 Silver, and 18 Bronze. The campus’ EIM-OC activities contributed to this prestigious Silver Level designation. “We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to making movement a part of daily campus culture and giving students the tools to cultivate physical activity habits that will benefit them throughout their lives,” said Katie Feltman, Certified Association Executive, interim CEO/COO.   

About Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) 

Initiated in 2007 by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association, Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) is a global health initiative that promotes physical activity as a fundamental element of health, aiming to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care. For more information, visit

About EIM-OC (On Campus) 

 EIM-OC works to integrate physical activity assessment and promotion as standard components of campus culture and healthcare services. A division of EIM, it collaborates with colleges and universities to provide resources, support, and recognition for their efforts in promoting physical activity and well-being among students, faculty, and staff. 

About the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization globally, with over 50,000 members and certified professionals worldwide, committed to advancing and applying scientific research to educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. Learn more at

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