Health department practicing what it preaches with new wellness program

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department employees participate in a yoga session. The yoga session is part of a wellness initiative that started in June at the department.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department employees participate in a yoga session. The yoga session is part of a wellness initiative that started in June at the department.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department launched a wellness program for its 42 employees about one year ago.

Kim Ens, director of clinic services, talked about the program at Monday’s board meeting.

“We want our employees to be healthy and productive at work,” she said. “We also want to be good role models for our clients.”

She said they’ve had seven “Lunch & Learn” programs about topics such as mindful eating, gentle yoga, gardening and stress management. The attendance has ranged from 8 employees to 18.

The department now offers healthy snacks such as fruit (25 cents), yogurt, string cheese and small bags of vegetables (50 cents). Before staff meetings, they do some basic stretches.

The department also had three teams — 14 people — participate in Walk Kansas, a program sponsored K-State Research & Extension.

There are seven staff members — from different departments — who meet monthly to discuss wellness initiatives.

Ens said the health department would like to offer a wellness assessment in the near future, so they can track progress.

Board member Maley Wilkins suggested offering a health insurance discount to employees who participate in the assessment.

The department is open to other ideas. What are other workplaces doing? I suggested the "100 Pushup Challenge." Ens said she would check it out.

Tagged: Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, wellness

Comments

Charlie Bryan 3 years, 7 months ago

Nice article, Karrey. In keeping with the title of your article, four health department employees rode bikes to Free State Brewery for lunch today. @LCmpleteStreets posted about it at http://twitter.com/#!/LCmpleteStreets.... The post @ mentions only the three employees with known Twitter handles.

Ali Edwards 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow! More workplaces need to join in on this trend! I, for one, am thankful that the health department truly does engage in a culture of health. Good work, LDCHD!

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