Health Plus
February 21, 2020

​Brad Awalt, Manager of Health Plus, and Amy Thomas, Senior Program Manager for VWell, talk about VWell Connect, the exciting new tool available at Vanderbilt to create opportunity to connect with others in the Vanderbilt community over shared activity interests.

Begin Transcript

Bridgette Butler:  Welcome to this edition of the Vanderbilt Health and Wellness wellcast.  I am Bridgette Butler with Health Plus.  At Vanderbilt, it's important to create new opportunities for faculty and staff to create connections with one another.  Here today, to tell us about one of these opportunities, the new VWell Connect, is Brad Awalt, Manager of Health Plus, and Amy Thomas, Senior Program Manager for V-Well.  Welcome, Brad and Amy.
 
Brad Awalt:  Thank you!  

Amy Thomas:  Thanks.

Bridgette Butler:  Brad, what is VWell Connect?

Brad Awalt:  VWell Connect is an online tool that allows the Vanderbilt community to connect in shared interests, and the way we set it up, it's more recreational activities.  So, the six activities that we have set up today are walking, hiking, running, biking, golf and tennis, and there's basically three easy steps to get started.  First, you would want to go to the VWell Connect website and we have a short link to get you there.  It's bit.ly/vwellconnect. .Then, once you log in, you are going to complete an activity profile, and that's going to be your name, your email address, age (if that's something that you want to provide), maybe what area of town you live in, and then, you are going to select those preferred interests that you might be interested in connecting with someone, and then once you do that, you will go to a webpage where you will see people that share those same interests as you do, and from there, you will be able to reach out to them and set up a time to connect, maybe to go for a walk or play a round of golf or play some tennis.  So, that's basically what VWell Connect is.

Bridgette Butler:  Amy, how was the idea of VWell Connect generated?

Amy Thomas:  Well, really, we took our inspiration from some of our colleagues in the Emergency Department.  So, there is a group in the Department of Emergency Medicine who is really spending some intentional focus on promoting and supporting well-being throughout the department for all of the faculty and staff there, and they had an idea that they wanted to put together a group that could come together to play tennis, and as they were kind of flushing out that idea, figuring out how to make it work, our VWell team was talking with them to be supportive and find out how we could help them get that started, and it really kind of inspired the VWell team to think about - how can we actually find a platform where we can help the greater Vanderbilt community connect over shared interests, and that's kind of where the idea took root, and now we have our VWell Connect tool that we are so excited about, which brings people throughout the whole community together over their shared interests.

Bridgette Butler:  This sounds like a wonderful opportunity to bring people together, and at the moment, it sounds like they have the opportunity to do some physical activity interests together.  What has been the most popular activity thus far?

Brad Awalt:  Thus far, the two most popular activities are walking and hiking.  That's good to hear, so maybe we'll see some people out on campus walking together, and maybe they were connected by VWell Connect.

Bridgette Butler:  We do have a beautiful campus for walking and a lovely area for hiking.  What will be additional activity interests added to VWell Connect in the future?

Brad Awalt:  Yes, so, when you do the enrollment process, you are going to see a link where you can click on, and that will allow you to make suggestions for maybe some future activities that can be added.  So, periodically, we will review those and possibly add those based on popularity.  So, yes, definitely we will see more in the horizon.

Bridgette Butler:  Thank you so much for sharing this great information about VWell Connect.  I appreciate you all being here today.

Brad Awalt:  You're welcome.

Amy Thomas:  You're welcome.  Thank you.
 
Bridgette Butler:  Thanks for listening.  If you have a story suggestion, use the "Contact Us" page on our website at www.vumc.org/health-wellness.