Denise Keeton receives WSU President’s Award for Health

Denise Keeton, associate director in the Office of Commercialization, received the WSU President’s Award for Health.

The award was presented to Keeton during the President’s Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18. The ceremony honors WSU faculty and staff that have taken extraordinary steps to keep the WSU community safe, healthy, and secure in the past year.

Denise Keeton accepts the WSU President’s Award for Health. From left to right: Symantha Keeton, Daniel Keeton, Chris Keane, Denise Keeton, Levi O’Loughlin, Deah McGaughey, Emily Vander Zanden, and Mary Boyd

Keeton was nominated by Christopher Keane, vice president for research for WSU and vice chancellor for research at WSU Pullman, for her demonstrated excellence in prioritizing and promoting the health and well-being of WSU faculty and staff by building and promoting eight healthy lifestyle challenges and events since 2016. A total of 532 people from five geographic areas, including Seattle, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Pullman; and four units, including the Office of Research, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Services, and the College of Nursing, have participated in these events. Keeton creates the content for the health challenges and partners with others from different campuses and colleges to execute them. Many of the challenges place participants in teams which build camaraderie and forms new friendships.

“Denise’s continuous efforts with WSU Healthy Lifestyle Programs creates a university-wide culture and climate that fosters mental health, physical health, and well-being. She regularly goes above and beyond to create a healthy WSU community that offers every person she encounters the opportunity to thrive and succeed by encouraging them to make choices to help improve wellness and lifestyle,” said Keane.

Her efforts are not limited to physical health. Keeton recognizes that mental health is equally important. She promotes the well-being and mental health of faculty and staff in her area by creating and running the OR Wellbeing Corner, a monthly email sent to Office of Research employees covering topics such as depression, stress, suicide prevention, and more.

Additionally, Keeton prepares and presents a short presentation each quarter for the area-wide Office of Research All Hands meeting to promote an all-around healthy lifestyle. During meetings held via Zoom, she has also encouraged participants to increase activity levels by guiding them through and demonstrating desk exercises.