Kitko honored with McKay Donkin Award

University Park, Pa. -- Cassandra M. Kitko, coordinator of Health Matters in Penn State's Office of Human Resources, is the winner of the 2011 McKay Donkin Award.

Established in 1969 in honor of the late McKay Donkin, who served as vice president and treasurer of the University from 1957 to 1968, the award is presented to a full-time member of the faculty or staff or to a retiree who has contributed most to the "economic, physical, mental or social welfare of the faculty" of the University. The contribution should be for duties or services above and beyond the recipient's regularly assigned duties.

As coordinator of the Health Matters Program since 1996, Kitko facilitates a broad range of employee wellness activities, programs and services designed to engage individuals in promoting healthy lifestyles, using their health plan wisely and maintaining or improving health.

"Collectively this impressive array of programs and services," one nominator wrote, "has created a rich set of offerings for Penn Staters to choose from and a set of offerings that should, hopefully, improve the health, wellness and productivity of the employed university population."

Kitko is recognized for playing a key role in developing and marketing programs such as Know Your Numbers, a wellness assessment geared toward reducing health care costs while educating employees on their potential health risk factors. It has grown from several offerings a month to a team traveling to all campus locations nine months of the year.

Citing her commitment to fostering an emotionally healthy work environment, another nominator noted that she is "dedicated to providing employees the most 'bang for their buck' by balancing the services offered by the providers with the budgetary concerns of the University."

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Last Updated March 16, 2011