AGH EMBRACES HEALTHIEST MARYLAND INITIATIVE
In August, Atlantic General Hospital joined other Eastern Shore employers
in signing the Healthiest Maryland commitment board at a ceremony at Salisbury
University, one more milestone in the efforts the organization has undertaken
in recent years to improve the health of its employees. Healthiest Maryland
is a voluntary statewide initiative launched by Governor Martin O’Malley
in May to promote health management practices in the workplace.
Through the Associates Getting Healthy Wellness Program formally launched
two years ago, Atlantic General provides free annual cholesterol and blood
glucose screenings as well as health risk assessments to its employees.
Associates also have access to free wellness coaching and smoking cessation
programs to receive the support they need to become healthier individuals.
“Our wellness program started small and is slowly growing, but associates
are already noticing the benefits. Several members of the program have
reported that they have lost weight and some were able to stop taking
their blood pressure or cholesterol medication,” said Michelle Clifton,
BSN, RN, the employee health nurse at Atlantic General. “We are
using the electronic resources provided by Healthiest Maryland to seek
new and innovative low cost methods of helping our associates make the
best lifestyle decisions.”
Clifton was finally able kick a 20-year pack-a-day smoking habit in January
using resources available through the program. “Our goal is to energize
and empower our associates and to be there for them when they make up
their mind to stop smoking or lose that first 10 pounds,” she said.
The wellness program is currently considering offering a farmers market
on the main campus next spring and is working in collaboration with the
director of food services to improve the selection and visibility of low-
and reduced-fat items in the cafeteria to make the healthiest choice the
Associates Getting Healthy will also be participating in the Healthway
Drive Block Party scheduled for October 16 to promote the one-mile walking
path around the campus.