Curry Health Center Wellness Partners with UC Market to increase UM’s Healthy Choices

February 11, 2015

MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s Curry Health Center Wellness put its stamp on the University Center Market earlier this month.

Curry staff launched the Optimal Bear Approved campaign, which highlights healthy food and beverage choices through tags and witty descriptions at the UC Market. 

 “The Optimal Bear Approved campaign helps students to easily identify tasty, healthy options that they can feel good about eating,” Director of Wellness Linda Green said.

Optimal Bear is a free, six-week, peer-based coaching program offered by UM’s Curry Health Center. Students can enroll and work one-on-one with an Optimal Bear coach on stress, sleep, exercise or other challenging areas of life.

Past program participants shared a common struggle: they had trouble identifying healthier options for snacking and lunches on campus. Curry Health Center Wellness decided to implement a new program to  highlight healthy choices in the UC Market, modeled after a successful collaboration between Whole Foods and a popular health food blog.

“The Market benefits from having Optimal Bear Approved products because both our employees and our customers can choose healthier food to give them longer-lasting energy through rough school days,” UC Market staff member Tori VandeLinde said. “As a college student, sometimes it's hard to see that a piece of fruit and a packet of almond butter will provide more energy than the quick jolt from a candy bar. The Optimal Bear Approved program serves as a guide and a gentle reminder to members of the University of Montana community to give our bodies the food they need to fuel our busy lives.”

Curry Health Center Wellness understands the challenges students face in selecting healthy food with a limited amount of time and money. The Optimal Bear Approved campaign highlights those healthy options to make the selection easier and UM students’ bodies healthier.

The Optimal Bear Approved guidelines are: all natural and sometimes organic, no artificial color, limited added sugar and real-food ingredients.

For more information about this campaign call Curry Health Center Program Coordinator Kayli Julius at 406-243-6719 or email




Contact: Kayli Julius, Curry Health Center program coordinator, 406-243-6719,