The hospital has fully adopted LiveWell Colorado’s motto: Healthy Eating, Active Living. Since 2009, the hospital has made dedicated efforts to put this motto into practice among its employees and throughout the community. Today, many employees and community members personally live by the motto, making efforts each day to live well.
Prowers Medical Center has had an employee wellness program since 2009. The wellness committee has brought healthy programs, including a tobacco free workplace, healthy living challenges, healthier menus in the cafeteria, Lunch and Learn presentations, webinars, walking clubs and more to their employees. They serve as a role model for other organizations and businesses in the community who are establishing wellness programs of their own. They have also partnered with organizations to bring wellness to our community, including LiveWell Prowers County, the Lamar Chamber of Commerce, City of Lamar, Healthy Places and many others. The wellness committee has been invited to speak at other hospitals and organizations around the state and the hospital is viewed as a leader in the region on wellness.
“We’ve had great success, thanks to our dedicated efforts, grants we’ve received, and our employees who have really embraced the program,” said Karen Bryant, Chief Operating Officer for Prowers Medical Center.
It took a few years for the program to really reach its stride and for leaders to learn what employees would respond to, and what they wanted. They’ve found what works.
“At first we were very structured and offered incentives for participating. Over the years we realized our staff responds better to challenges. We’ve got a spirited team here that enjoys competing amongst departments,” Bryant said.
Challenges that have worked well involve departments competing to lose the highest number of pounds, walk the most steps, or bike the most days to work.
“The wellness program has motivated several employees to get back to working out or to start a fitness program. For example, one employee now walks every day since we implemented our walking challenge, while another has been motivated to go to the gym on her lunch break. Another team member rode his bike to work 78 days during our bike to work challenge this summer. It’s really impressive.” said Amanda Vasquez, Patient Care Services Assistant.
“One of our biggest achievements as a wellness committee has been a decrease in health insurance claims among employees. It’s a true testament that our wellness programs and healthy living challenges are working,” said Michelle Pollart, Human Resource Manager.
The wellness committee finds it extremely satisfying to see the community join in. Over the years there has been a great increase in people using the walking path on the hospital campus, participating in sponsored fitness events, accessing the hospital’s certified athletic trainer during sporting events, and attending health fairs.
“It’s wonderful to see individuals and community groups using our walking path. When it first opened people would stop and ask if walkers needed a ride. Now you see employees, community groups and families out using the path every day,” Bryant said.
The wellness committee views wellness from a whole person perspective—keeping not only our physical bodies well, but also our minds and spirits. That’s why they also sponsor stress reducing projects and various community drives. The hospital just wrapped up a food drive and is now in the midst of a Winter Gloves, Scarves & Hat Drive to compliment the high school’s DECA Club’s coat drive efforts. They are also a drop off site for Toys for Tots. The community is welcome to drop off items for either event through mid-December.
“When you think of wellness you think of being fit, but it’s also about giving,” Vasquez concluded.
Hospital employees pride themselves in being role models for healthy living. They invite you to join in and participate in their healthy living events, and to create fitness challenges of your own. They welcome you to use them as a resource.