WashU Community Wellness Connection

Wellness Champion Spotlight: Hatice Goshtaiy

Hatice Goshtaiy, MS
IM – Infectious Diseases

Hatice has been with WashU for the past 14 years and a Wellness Champion for the last 2.5 years. Since joining the Champion network in January 2019, she has been a strong advocate for Wellness Connection programming in her department, working with her supervisor to promote resources and arranging presentations at staff meetings. In 2020, Hatice participated in the Human-Centered Design workplace wellness scan along with her co-champion, Sara O’Neal, which collected data that allowed them to personalize wellness efforts for their workgroup. She’s also been a member of the Champion Leadership group, providing feedback and guiding the strategy for the overall Champion network.

What motivates you to volunteer as a Wellness Champion?

I recently received my Master’s in Applied Health Behavior Research, and during my classes, I learned a lot about the importance of preventive health care. This increased my motivation to encourage my loved ones and co-workers to take better care of themselves; I sincerely care about my coworkers’ wellness. Plus, studies have shown that developing good health behaviors help us to be happier and make us more productive overall. Just doing little things every day can have a huge impact on our wellness in the long term.

Are there any unique aspects of your department that make it particularly challenging or rewarding to be a Wellness Champion?

When someone tells me that they did something to improve their wellbeing because of something I said or did, that is definitely very rewarding. Recently, I was showing my co-workers that physical activity doesn’t have to be boring or just exercising; it can be fun too! I led a 15-minute virtual Zumba class with them during one of our staff meetings. Weeks later, a colleague told me that she did Zumba with her kids because she enjoyed my session during our meeting, which made me extremely happy.

Tell us about some actions you’ve taken to foster a culture of well-being in your department.

In 2020 I requested two different presentations from Wellness Connection. The first was “Introduction to Mindfulness”, in which Wellness Consultant Meg Krejci came to our office during a staff meeting and taught the basic tenets of mindfulness to us. The second program I requested was through MyWay to Health. It was a combination of “Healthy Habits While Working From Home” and “Stress Management”. This was done virtually and led by registered dietitian Lisa Tigges. Since we were all working from home, dealing with stress, and looking to change our somewhat not-so-healthy eating habits, I thought it would be helpful to hear guidance from an expert.

I also gave a presentation on how physical activity can affect our health later in life and touched on the many research studies supporting this. I try to come up with creative ideas to help spread the word about WashU resources, and every time I hear someone struggling with an issue, I share all the relevant resources we have available. And of course, I encourage my colleagues to join our wellness challenges and adopt healthy behaviors as much as possible.

I’ve appreciated getting to know Hatice over the past few years, and admire how she’s been able to successfully add physical activity into her daily life using small, attainable goals. Hatice, thank you for being such a valuable asset and helping to keep your department aware of resources to maintain their health and well-being!

Circular logo with text Wellness Connection Champion Network

Become a Champion! If you’d like to learn more about the Wellness Connection Champion network and how to foster a culture of health and well-being in your department, check out our website: hr.wustl.edu/wellness-connection/champions/.