Skip Navigation

Two ORAU Employees are Among Only 27 Individuals Honored with President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Community Leadership Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2008
FY08-42

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Two Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) employees, Occupational Health Registered Nurse Sally Gadola and Project Manager Mikki Prater, are among only 27 individuals chosen this June by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) to receive a 2008 PCPFS Community Leadership Award. The national award is given annually to those who improve the lives of others within their community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities or fitness-related programs.

"We are honored to present this award to Ms. Gadola and Ms. Prater," said Melissa Johnson, PCPFS executive director. "Physical activity and sports participation are an important part of living a healthy, more active life, and we are pleased to recognize these two women for their commitment to making a difference and influencing the health of their communities."

As head of ORAU’s Occupational Health Department, Gadola oversees many daily responsibilities that help ensure the health and wellness of the company’s more than 900 employees. However, it was Gadola’s effort beyond those expectations that ultimately led to her most recent recognition.

After being congratulated by ORAU Vice President of Human Resources Dan Standley (center), ORAU Project Manager Mikki Prater (left) and ORAU Occupational Health Registered Nurse Sally Gadola (right) take a second to proudly display their President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Community Leadership Awards. The award—which was bestowed to only 27 individuals across the nation this year—is given annually to those who improve the lives of others within their community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities or fitness-related programs.
High-resolution version of photo

"Sally is extremely successful at showcasing the need for employees to think, act, and be healthy in all aspects of mind, body and spirituality," said ORAU Vice President of Human Resources Dan Standley. "Her unrelenting drive to educate employees about the importance of health and wellness has resulted in numerous special guest presentations, the establishment of several company-wide health competitions, as well as regular opportunities for employees to participate in local blood donation drives."

Prater has also led an inspiring initiative to encourage ORAU employees to adopt healthier lifestyles. She began by organizing a team of 26 co-workers to participate in a variety of walking, running and hiking activities. Later, Prater was able to negotiate free trial passes to a local gym for her team members to try the fitness-center environment, risk free. Prater also created homemade, healthy meals and shared the finished products with her co-workers to demonstrate that healthy food can taste delicious.

"Mikki has done a great deal to motivate and establish a healthy mindset for her co-workers and did so by sacrificing much of her personal time to organize, cook, plan and shop,” said Standley. "In our company’s recent wellness competition, six of the top 10 finalists and over 50 percent of the top 25 individuals were from Mikki’s team. These statistics alone demonstrate the profound, positive impact that Mikki’s efforts have had on her colleagues."

ORAU President Ron Townsend notes that as a company that places extreme importance on the health and wellness of its employees, ORAU applauds Gadola and Prater’s efforts for helping continue a corporate culture rich in health awareness activities.

"ORAU constantly strives to promote a work environment in which employees are conscious about healthy lifestyle choices," said Townsend. "Sally and Mikki’s infectious enthusiasm has brought awareness of healthy living to many ORAU employees and has certainly helped influence ORAU’s recognition as being one of Tennessee’s top employers for 2007 and 2008. We’re very proud of both of them."

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) is an advisory committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity, fitness and sports in America. The Office of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the HHS office containing the PCPFS Executive Director and support staff. Through its programs and partnerships with the public, private and nonprofit sectors, the Office of the PCPFS serves as a catalyst to promote health, physical activity, fitness and enjoyment for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through participation in physical activity and sports. For more information about PCPFS please visit www.fitness.gov

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Director,
Communications
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Manager,
Communications
Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953