NIH Health and Wellness Council



Chartered in 2010, the NIH Health and Wellness Council (HWC) is a volunteer team that facilitates and strengthens a culture of well-being in the NIH workplace so that each NIH employee can develop and pursue a healthy lifestyle and comprehensive wellness.  ​

HWC works with the Office of Research Services (ORS) to promote a comprehensive model of well-being and abundant resources that support it at NIH. Through integrating science and practice of well-being, HWC helps NIH "to take its own best advice" and to stand as a model – where healthy behaviors are the norm and supported by practices, policies, initiatives, peer support, scientific information, and wellness as a shared value. In pursuit of this NIH-wide mission, the HWC creates initiatives, establishes collaborations, and advises the NIH Deputy Director for Management on matters related to NIH employee health and wellness. 

Goals of the HWC  include:

  • Serve as advocates for quality accessible wellness resources for the NIH community.
  • Facilitate and promote policies and initiatives that support a culture of wellness at the NIH.
  • Foster collaboration with other federal agency wellness programs.
  • Serve as a forum to share best practices amongst HWC members.
  • Incorporate the NIH's research, scientific expertise and resources that support workplace well-being.

Some HWC Notable Accomplishments

Launching of the Wellness@NIH Website where HWC activities are posted. 

Manual Chapter 1481 NIH Workplace Wellness Policy

The HWC Employee Wellness Seminar Series


In 2019, the HWC was re-established by recruiting passionate volunteers from the NIH community. This new council defined Engagement as the top priority. 

There is no one recipe for unleashing our power but there are tools that help us on this path.  

First is the Knowledge that we have the power to choose, that we are creators of our lives. 

Second, is Gratitude.  In our busy lives we take many things for granted and pay too much attention to what we are missing. Yet, the state of gratitude changes our relationship with life.

Third, Trust in ourselves. Learn to listen to your longings and discontents. They guide us in the world of unlimited possibilities. If everyone is so excited about meditation but you cannot sit still – then dance, run, hike, or find another healthy activity that gives you joy because joy tells us what we need NOW to get to the next stage of our evolution.

Every moment is full of opportunities and the resources for our growth and well-being are abundant. If you did not find what you love, keep looking. This applies to all areas of our lives. 

It has been an enormous privilege to speak on behalf the NIH Health and Wellness Council and to serve our amazingly supportive NIH community. 


Olga Brazhnik, PhD, the Chair of the NIH Health and Wellness Council (HWC) 




Get Fit! Try a FREE Virtual Fitness Class!

  • Dress for the weather if you have to go out on chilly,cold,  or damp days
  • Wear loose layers of clothing. The air between the layers
    helps to keep you warm.
  • Put on a hat and scarf. You lose a lot of body heat when
    your head and neck are uncovered.
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it's snowy.
  • Change your clothes right away if they get damp or wet.

​Chris Gaines
Program Manager
Fitness and Well-being