Spokane Regional Health District – 2014 SME Winners

Living Well Worksite Wellness Program
12th May 2014

The goal is to create a culture of wellness at SRHD using a comprehensive, best practice approach supported by leadership, policies, systems and workplace environment. The program aligns with the World Health Organization’s Worksite Wellness model to support employee health and safety.

Leadership engagement is one critical component to the program. Leaders in the agency model healthy and safe behaviors as well as support staff time to plan and participate in wellness activities including researching what works best, tracking success and challenges and evaluating impact. The leadership team designates a small line item budget to support creating healthy environments as health and safety are part of the agency’s foundational principles.

Workers are engaged in wellness activities through participation on committees, sub-committees and focus groups. Committees represent all divisions within the agency and all levels of staffing from executive leaders to front line staff. Staff feedback is solicited through annual health risk assessments and satisfaction surveys.

Living Well follows a continuous quality improvement cycle by using aggregate data from surveys, screenings and risk assessments to create annual work plans with defined goals. Goals focus on sustainable changes to implement best practice approaches to improving wellness. Addressing diversity in the workplace is important as we consider varying levels of physical conditioning, work environments, work schedules and other differences in program planning.

Providing a safe and healthy environment to support healthy behaviors is a key component. SRHD supports a non-smoking campus and condition of hire, provides ergonomic assessments, offers standing work stations to reduce the risks of sitting for prolonged periods and provides various safety trainings and inspections.

SRHD offers various personal health resources to make the healthy choice, the easy choice. Some of these resources include; on-site physical activity classes, discounted gym memberships, shower facilities, on-site preventative health screenings and immunizations, treadmill work stations, and access to healthy foods through a farmer’s market and healthy vending machine.

SRHD strives to provide a work/life balance for employees. Various policies and systems are in place to encourage this such as; infants in the workplace policy, breastfeeding rooms, flexible scheduling and telework options, Employee Assistance Program, and multiple social events to encourage connectivity amongst employees.

SRHD’s programs promote health in our community by sponsoring teams for local events, provide walking maps of various trails, and reducing our carbon footprint by encouraging recycling and participating in a commute trip reduction program. Free bus passes, secure bike room and incentives are provided to encourage alternate methods of transportation. SRHD encourages businesses within the community to implement worksite wellness programs and has created a worksite wellness toolkit on the SRHD website www.srhd.org. Enter Worksite Wellness in the search bar to find the kit. This toolkit contains examples of local companies who have implemented creative and sustainable approaches to worksite wellness.

SRHD is able to sustain this program with minimal resources by utilizing various partnerships in our community. Insurance and financial institutions provide educational opportunities and incentives to support our programs. Students from college health programs assist in program planning, and provide educational sessions and screening events free of charge. SRHD taps into existing community resources to support employee health. Various staff take the initiative to coordinate health and wellness activities and are willing to share in the cost of some of the programs.

SRHD was recently recognized as one of the three best workplaces supporting employee health in the world at the Global Healthy Workplace Award Summit in Shanghai April, 2014. SRHD Health Officer Dr. Joel McCullough, “Truly, the health district’s most valuable asset is its employees, they are at the heart of why we make such a tangible commitment to wellness at work.”

To view SRHD’s Winning Keynote Presentation, click here!

Visit Spokane Regional Health District’s website, click here!

Watch SRHD feature on KXYL TV, watch here!

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