In an initiative to promote a healthy lifestyle in another segment of the community, Atlantic General Hospital has shifted its focus inward. The hospital recently implemented an employee wellness program for its associates that includes membership in Healthy U and the Worcester County Health Department’s Just Walk program.
Through these programs, associates can walk, run, swim, or otherwise exercise toward healthier, more fit bodies and earn incentives and discounts at local fitness centers and restaurants in the process.
Eighty-eight new members of the wellness program, called Associates Getting Healthy, began the program in early June with a comprehensive fitness assessment provided in cooperation with the Worcester County Health Department. The assessment includes a plan of action to reach an optimal weight, improve muscle strength, maintain bone health, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
“It’s difficult to change the community’s perceptions about proper diet and exercise if we aren’t setting a good example,” said Ronna Lynch, employee health nurse and coordinator of Associates Getting Healthy. “With this program, we hope to help our associates become healthier and happier and to demonstrate to the community the value of preventive measures in maintaining good health.”
Photo 1: Stephanie Venables, a tech in the emergency department, tests her flexibility during the 20-minute enrollment session for Associates Getting Healthy, the new employee wellness program at Atlantic General Hospital.
Photo 2: Ronna Lynch, of employee health, takes Michelle Clifton’s blood pressure. Michelle, a nurse in the emergency department, joined Associates Getting Healthy to start taking better care of herself. “As a nurse and a woman, I tend to put others’ needs before my own,” she said. “I have decided it’s time to do something to take care of Michelle.”
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