Richmond, VA – (December 13, 2017) – On Wednesday, December 6, the American Heart Association (AHA) hosted the 2017 Richmond Workplace Wellness Symposium along with the University of Richmond. Through this event the AHA provided local employers with tools and resources to help them create healthier workplaces for all.
Laura Linnan, ScD, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, was the event’s keynote speaker. She spoke about trends in the workplace and the affects they have on every-day employees’ health along with suggested opportunities for improvement.
The symposium featured a panel of local employers who excel at workplace health. Panelists included Denise Heer, Health and Wellness Coordinator for the City of Richmond, Heather Sadowski, Assistant Director of Wellness at the University of Richmond as well as Meghan D. Melvin, Wellness Manager for Bon Secours Richmond Health System. Each panelist spoke about the different ways they’ve incorporated wellness into their company’s day-to-day. The panelists agree that if employers encourage staff to make health a priority, their work will be reflective of their lifestyle improvements.
After the panel, the audience was asked to break out into groups focused on seven evidence-based pillars of successful wellness campaigns including communications, engagement, leadership, policies and environment, programs and partnerships and reporting outcomes. Each table was challenged to think outside the box on these topics regarding their place of employment.
Following a heart healthy lunch, The City of Richmond, University of Richmond, Bon Secours and Collegiate School were recognized as local workplace health champions for exemplary scores on the AHA’s Workplace Health Achievement Index. The Index scores organizations on 55 individual best practices, organized into seven categories of organizational best practices and the objective, unbiased sciences-based assessment of overall workplace heart health.
Moving forward, the AHA is asking employers to stay connected and start the Workplace Health Achievement Index. In order to be recognized, the index must be completed by March 31, 2018. For more information on the Workplace Health Index or to see how your organization can move toward a healthier workplace culture, contact Lauren Mauter at email@example.com.