Lawrence M. Walsh
Annual award by American Heart Association recognizes excellent workplace health
The Will County Health Department has been named a Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association based upon outstanding workplace health. The annual award recognizes exceptional activities that promote health and well-being for employees.
“We are very proud to receive this award,” said Sue Olenek, executive director of the health department. “As a public health department, it is important our employees lead by example to demonstrate healthy living for our clients.”
The Fit-Friendly Worksite awards are given annually to recognize positive outcomes in three pre-specified criteria such as behavior change, cost savings, or return on investment. According to the AMA website, this program offers evidence-based tools to help companies maximize its current employee health program.
“This fits in with the county’s wellness program,” said Olenek. “Last year, the county adopted a wellness program designed to improve our employees’ health and help reduce insurance costs. We created a Wellness Committee in the Health Department in September of 2011 to offer incentives for our employees to be healthy.”
Olenek said the committee has sponsored a variety of activities such as adopting a healthy vending machine policy to offer healthy options, offering Lunch and Learn seminars that teach healthy eating habits, a weight loss competition, numerous employee walking events, and other fun events that engage employees and their families in healthy behaviors.
“It really is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” she said. “We are proud of the efforts our employees are making to improve their quality of life and their health. We will continue to offer these programs for our employees to invest in maintaining good health.”
The Will County Health Department offers a variety of events including Lunch and Learn seminar with healthy snacks to promote its wellness program. (Photo courtesy of Will County Health Department)