St. Bernards has been recognized as a 2016 Gold Level Fit-Friendly Work Site through the American Heart Association’s My Hear. My Life. initiative.
The AHA designed the program as a catalyst for positive change, and work sites throughout the U.S. can be part of the initiative by making the health and wellness of their employees a priority.
St. Bernards was recognized for offering employees physical activity support, providing and increasing healthy eating options at the work site, promoting a wellness culture and implementing at least nine criteria as outlined by the AHA in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
St. Bernards has put into place a number of fit-friendly programs and activities and continues to encourage employees to take advantage of those programs. Just a few include:
Sponsoring monthly health challenges, with half of those focusing on physical activity
Providing employees with links to BSDI Motivation Alliance Software to help document daily challenges and physical activity
Encouraging employees to take stretch breaks and to walk on campus, using either inside or outdoor designated walking paths
Offering employees discounted rates at Health & Wellness, where they can take advantage of physical activity classes of all kinds as well as workout equipment
Sponsoring multiple races and events throughout the year for both employees and the community.
In terms of nutrition offerings, employees receive emails daily that include the cafeteria menu, with healthy selections shown in green print and unhealthy choices in red. Staff also receive Wednesday Wellness Tips newsletters that include general nutritional information, diet recommendations and tips for using healthy cooking techniques.
St. Bernards works to create a culture that promotes wellness among employees and their families. The employee program HealthBeat has been in place since 2012 and continues to evolve, including annual health screenings and incentive programs. Workers have access to a Life Health Coach program through which a life health coach or a health educator meets with employees individually or in small groups to promote healthy living. Last year, participation in the health screening was tied to a reduced increase in the employee’s health insurance premium.