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Hospital, Schools Team Up to Promote Worksite Wellness

Calvert Memorial Hospital has joined forces with Calvert County Public Schools to offer worksite wellness services to the system’s 2,000-plus employees. The innovative program called “KeepWell@Work” was created by CMH in 2006 to help local employers promote healthy habits among their workforce.

“Worksite wellness is an integral part of our mission to improve the health and well-being of the community we serve,” said CMH President and CEO Jim Xinis. “Most adults spend more time at work than anywhere else, making it a great place to promote healthy habits.”

“A worksite wellness program is an excellent idea – it just makes sense,” said Jack Smith, superintendent of schools. “It's good for the school system, our staff members who decide to participate, and for the community. We have been working with the hospital for several months to put this program together and appreciate the opportunity for this partnership.”

“We’re very excited about this partnership because it allows us to reach such a large number of local residents with our wellness services,” said Margaret Fowler, director of community wellness at CMH. “It not only helps teachers lead healthier lives…it underscores the importance of instilling these same healthy behaviors in their students.”

“Additionally, worksite wellness can have a real impact in enhancing productivity,” she said. “In general, healthier employees have more stamina, less stress and increased energy.”

The KeepWell@Work program provides employees with tools and resources to help them take charge of their health. Fowler said the most important of these is the Health Risk Assessment (HRA), which identifies potential risk factors and makes recommendations for improving health. She said the program also offers discounted nutrition and fitness services to help employees work at their wellness goals.

Since its inception, the hospital’s worksite wellness program has continued to grow. In just the first two weeks, 287 school system employees have signed up to take the HRA and engage in multiple aspects of the program. According to Fowler, Calvert Memorial has also partnered with Constellation Energy, Chesapeake Spa & Resort, Calvert County Government and the local libraries to bring customized programs onsite.

Last year, over 1,000 took advantage of CMH worksite wellness services that ranged from biometric testing and health risk assessments to weight loss education and stress management lectures. Over a 12-week period in 2010, participating county employees lost a total of 335 pounds. Additionally, over 300 took advantage of the reduced-price gym membership offered as part of the KeepWell@Work program.

“Our relationship with World Gym allows us to bring together fitness, nutrition and health services in a comprehensive lifestyle improvement program,” said Fowler. “Participants tell us they appreciate the face-to-face personal touch we offer.”

“More companies are choosing to partner with the hospital,” said Fowler, “because we’ve already done it successfully in our own workplace.” At present, 74 percent of employees insured at CMH are enrolled in the voluntary program. She said participants complete a health risk assessment (HRA) as part of the annual medical insurance enrollment process. The results are used to target areas for improvement. It also helps employees to track their progress from year to year.

“We have continued to see steady progress at CMH for the past five years,” said Fowler. “Participating hospital employees have logged significant reductions in blood pressure, glucose levels and body fat.”

“Equally important,” she said, “they are more actively engaged in managing any chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.”

“Small or large, we can design and implement a wellness program that meets your organization’s needs,” said Fowler. “It can range from something as simple as blood pressure screenings to a more comprehensive package that includes an array of services to optimize your employees’ wellness potential.” For more information, call 410-535-8233.

CMH security guard Danny Baggerly regularly takes the stairs since losing 72 pounds as part of the hospital’s worksite wellness program. “I have so much energy now. My body feels 100 percent better.

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