Promoting healthy habits among employees

By Richard Asinof
Contributing Writer
CharterCare Health Partners, a hospital system that includes Roger Williams Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Health Services and Elmhurst Extended Care, offers a smorgasbord of wellness events and activities for its 2,200 employees. Initiatives include yoga, Pilates, Zumba, walking programs, healthy cooking options, lunch-and-learn sessions, smoking-cessation and sleep-improvement programs, as well as sun safety, body composition and wellness clinics. More

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HEALTHIEST EMPLOYERS

Promoting healthy habits among employees

PBN PHOTO/ BRIAN MCDONALD
CLASS ACT: Jolene Rambone, foreground, a Blue Cross health educator, leads a class that includes, from left: Brandon Ward, Cheryl Dumas, Seth Daley, Katie Kasulaitis, Lori DeSimone and Cheryl Kasulaitis.
By Richard Asinof
Contributing Writer
Posted 8/13/12

CharterCare Health Partners, a hospital system that includes Roger Williams Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Health Services and Elmhurst Extended Care, offers a smorgasbord of wellness events and activities for its 2,200 employees. Initiatives include yoga, Pilates, Zumba, walking programs, healthy cooking options, lunch-and-learn sessions, smoking-cessation and sleep-improvement programs, as well as sun safety, body composition and wellness clinics.

Cheryl Dumas, the wellness coordinator at CharterCare, describes it as a robust effort for a hospital, put together in partnership with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. So far this year more than 1,000 employees have participated in at least one wellness activity. Incentives are offered for taking a personal health assessment and for participating in health-and-wellness events.

One of the activities that’s proven very popular is the Magic Skills walking class, held for a 10-week period at lunch time, which begins with a five-minute check-in session to talk about how everyone’s week is going and what an employee may have done to improve their health, according to Dumas. “Then, they go for a walk,” she said.

Because of everyone’s busy work-week, sometimes it can be very difficult for employees to participate, Dumas said. “We are all doing more with less.”

A wellness fair drew more than 350 employees over the course of the day. A farmer’s market is set up on a weekly basis to provide employees access to fresh vegetables to prepare at home. •

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