Whole health focus: SmartDollar app fosters financial wellness

Free Public Domain Cc0 Photo.“Well-being is about taking care of more than just your physiological health and wellness,” said Dr. Frank Filipetto, dean of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. “It’s also about addressing social determinants of health, of which financial determinants are an important factor.”

Beyond the physiological or individual risk factors associated with health, the state of a person’s finances impacts several different aspects of life — from interpersonal relationships to the ability to afford items to fulfill basic needs like food or housing and much more. Likewise, financial strain can affect multiple pillars of whole health.

HSC recognizes the extent of the impact financial health can have on its students, faculty and staff. As such, Dr. Michael Williams, who served as HSC’s president from 2013 to 2022 and is now chancellor of the University of North Texas System, brought Dave Ramsey’s SmartDollar, a financial wellness tool, to HSC campus as a way to help address this barrier to whole health.

What is SmartDollar?

SmartDollar is a digital platform that promotes financial wellness. From the budgeting app to the debt snowball tool and savings tips, the program offers a plan and structure to help users handle their finances and achieve their financial goals.

Williams launched SmartDollar in January 2020. The platform is paid for by HSC, so HSC users can access it for free. Since the launch over three years ago, HSC employees and students have had more than $2 million of debt paid off and savings added.

Whole Health approach to finances

“SmartDollar can play an important role in a person’s whole health journey because finances tie into almost every facet of a person’s life,” said Brittany Brookens, project manager for the Office of Culture and Experience at HSC. “Financial matters are one of the key determinants of health and critical to taking care of your mind, body and spirit.”

Brittany Brookens holding an award.
Brittany Brookens holds her Smarty Award.

Brookens is responsible for promoting SmartDollar across campus. She recently received a Smarty Award for her on-campus efforts.

“When you feel peace and confidence about your finances, you are able to focus on other areas of your life,” Brookens added. “SmartDollar provides a plan and structure for your finances, but more than that, it can help give you that peace.

 To learn more about the impact SmartDollar has made on our campus, please visit www.unthsc.edu/culture-and-experience/smartdollar.

*Please note that HSC cannot access any financial data shared between an employee or student and SmartDollar. That information is strictly between the user and SmartDollar.

For additional information and resources, go to www.smartdollar.com.

Here’s how to sign up: www.smartdollar.com/start.

Use the keyword: UNTHSC

Learn stories of HSC staff, faculty and student SmartDollar users here: https://www.unthsc.edu/culture-and-experience/smartdollar/

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