Currently, the Health Initiative is working with several St. Lawrence County businesses, through the New York state grant-funded Creating Healthy Worksites program, for a combined reach of 5,122 employees. While in varying stages of programming, many of these businesses are already seeing positive change in the workplace.
Claxton Hepburns employee wellness team, the Health Nuts, has implemented a host of creative programming ideas, including hosting the Ogdensburg Green Market on-site every Thursday this season, having murals painted by Clint Taylor in their stairwell to encourage stair promotion, purchasing two bicycles for employee use, increasing healthy options in their Cornerstone Café, subsidizing on-site yoga and dance classes, and more.
St. Josephs Home is promoting on-site physical activity by opening up their physical therapy center to all employees and has purchased both a treadmill and an elliptical trainer for employee use. Canton-Potsdam Hospital had 84 teams sign up to participate in the One Step Forward walking program.
River Ledge Health Care and Rehabilitation now has an employee garden and Maplewood, developed wellness committee with wellness mission and vision statements, and is the new home to Yoga Loft. St. Lawrence County has worked toward weight management and stair promotion.
SUNY Potsdam has opted to roll out its weight management program through its online learning system, accessible by all employees, who are encouraged to work on their weight management individually, and challenged to use the stairs.
North Country Savings Bank has seen consistent participation in the Choose to Lose weight management program and is moving from extrinsic incentives (cash awards) to a more intrinsic incentive system, where employees are motivated by how much better they feel, rather than by financial incentive for participation. Programming is designed to create a culture shift, making it easier for employees to adopt healthy lifestyle changes with support from management, encouragement from fellow employees and an environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice.
All Round 2 businesses will participate in a one-day adventure-based training programming Aug. 30, which will offer training, a healthy picnic and afternoon kayaking on the Racquette River.
The Health Initiative would like to congratulate all the businesses currently participating in the Creating Healthy Worksites Program on their efforts and successes. Creating Healthy Worksites will be recruiting for participation in Round 3 in early fall. Any businesses interested in participating should contact Kimberly DesChamp, by phone: (315) 261-4760, extension 233 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The writer is the Creating Healthy Worksites project coordinator for St. Lawrence Health Initiative.