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Employee Wellness Programs Shown to Offer Results October 16, 2009

For more information, contact Erica Cline at 706/828-2397.

Employee Wellness Programs Shown to Offer Results

(AUGUSTA, GA. -- Oct. 12, 2009) According to a new American Heart Association policy statement, workplace wellness programs are an “effective way to reduce major risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.”

University Hospital’s employee health and wellness program, Wellness Works, has for years sought to improve the health of the hospital’s employees through annual screenings, one-on-one counseling and education classes.

Roxane Patterson, University’s director of Employee Health and Wellness, said the program focus on modifiable risk factors such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. The free program is completely voluntary.

“We had about 65 percent of the staff take advantage of the program last year,” Ms. Patterson said.

Maria Moore, Care Line Coordinator for University Hospital, said the program has been a huge benefit to her health.

“I thought I knew everything I needed to about my health, and I came to realize that I knew nothing,” she said.

Nutrition classes helped Mrs. Moore understand her nutritional needs and they gave her the tools she needed to make better food choices.

“I found out that I was eating enough carbs in a day to last me a week,” she said wryly. “I just didn’t realize how easy it was to overindulge.”

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