Suffolk wins wellness award

Published 9:11 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The city of Suffolk has received the Virginia Business Coalition on Health 2012 Wellness in the Workplace Award for businesses with between 500 to 1,499 employees.

Suffolk was recognized for a comprehensive offering of wellness programs throughout the organization, according to a city press release announcing the award.

During the past year and a half, the city’s wellness program has made great strides in increasing participation and awareness for healthy lifestyles among employees, while incorporating pre- and post-biometric screenings and program evaluations, the release stated.

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“We are very honored to have received this award from VBCH,” Rebecca Brich, Suffolk Employee Wellness Coordinator, stated. “For having such a young employee wellness program, it speaks highly to what we are accomplishing and what great improvements our employees are making in their lives.”

Throughout the organization, health is an emphasis and the participation rates illustrate that fact, according to city officials. The Annual Walk at Work Day saw a 70-percent increase in participation, while the Walking Works Program tripled its participation rates.

Employees have lost a combined total of 1,100 pounds during this time period, according to the press release. Preventative screenings also have been promoted, and PSA testing increased from 12 to 89 percent participation. The Maternal Management Program reported that 90 percent of enrollees completed a nurse coach assessment, which is well over the baseline norm of 53 percent.

There have also been positive outcomes in other health related program areas, officials stated. The recent expansion in the Risk Management and Safety Division implemented training and tracking systems for workers’ compensation, disability rates and safety accidents that showed a direct correlation and reported a reduction in injuries and lost days from 50 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2011.

The Virginia Business Coalition on Health is a non-profit, purchaser-driven organization committed to improving the quality and value of health care in the community. The Wellness in the Workplace Awards are open to all purchasers in Virginia, small, medium and large. Nominees are evaluated based on wellness program design, implementation, sustainability and outcomes.