AUGUSTA, Ga. – The American Heart Association has recognized GRHealth as a Gold-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite for championing employee wellness. GRHealth is the only Augusta hospital to achieve this honor.
“As an organization focused on providing quality health care, we must be positive role models for our patients, families, staff, and peers,” said Susan A. Norton, Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Receiving this award not only enhances our ability to attract highly qualified staff in the face of shortages in health care professions, but, more importantly, it inspires all of us who work here to continue to value our own health and well-being.”
Some of the healthy initiatives at GRHealth that helped earn the Fit-Friendly designation include:
• Publishing and promoting campus walking routes and programs
• Publishing health and fitness tips through an online newsletter
• Maintaining a tobacco-free environment
• Providing “mindful eating” and other healthy food choices in the cafeteria
• Offering weight loss programs at work
• Implementing an employee wellness program that includes coaching
“GRHealth is a caring employer, committed to providing the best workplace environment possible,” said Frances A. Toole, Director of Employee Health and Wellness. “We will continue to develop ways to actively engage our staff in taking care of their health, and we hope that more companies will follow our lead in promoting healthy lifestyles.”
According to the American Heart Association, American employers are losing an estimated $226 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity. Many American adults have sedentary jobs, which contributes to a lack of physical activity and an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a host of other medical issues. The AHA aims to transform corporate cultures through the Fit-Friendly initiative and other wellness programs.
The AHA recommends employee walking programs as walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.