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PUBLISHED: 1:50 PM on Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Employee wellness coalition honors Center for Community

Photo courtesy of Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition
  Leslie Gordon, right, Chairperson of the University of Alaska Southeast Employee Wellness Team, presents Coke Oines, left, of Center for Community with the Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition's Well Workplace of the Month award for January. The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition is a community-wide organization promoting workplace wellness in Sitka. It is co-sponsored by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Sitka Community Hospital and the Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program.
The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition has honored Center for Community with its Well Workplace of the Month award for January.

The award recognizes a Sitka organization's efforts in promoting employee wellness within its workplaces.

Center for Community is a non-profit organization that provides home and community-based services for people with disabilities, the elderly and others who experience barriers to community living in Alaska. Connie Sipe, the organization's executive director, attended the Well Workplace University in September, then created and circulated a Wellness Vision Statement that reads:

"Recognizing that employees perform their best when they are healthy, and that optimal employee performance is necessary for the company to provide quality services, the wellness program aims to improve employee health and wellbeing."

Center for Community joined the Wellness Councils of America, formed its own employee wellness team and elected Margaret Andrews to be the team's leader. The group meets regularly and it distributed a survey to find out what employees wanted in a wellness program (physical activity topped the list).

Center for Community then implemented WELCOA's "Step By Step" physical activity program, and kicked the program off with a healthy foods luau on Jan. 4. Other activities include holding a "lunch-and-learn" session with SEARHC WISEWOMAN health educator Martha Pearson, starting a wellness bulletin board and providing free healthy snacks such as oranges and nuts during the holidays.

"Center for Community has emerged as another leader and trailblazer in the local worksite wellness movement, and for that we salute you," said SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne, who is one of the coordinators for the Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition.

The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition is a community-wide organization promoting workplace wellness created as a follow-up to September's Well Workplace University.

The coalition is co-sponsored by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Sitka Community Hospital and the Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program. The coalition's next brown bag lunch meeting is from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.

For more information on the Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition, contact Doug Osborne of SEARHC Health Promotion at 966-8734 or Jennifer Spriggel of Sitka Community Hospital's Mountainside Family Health Care at 747-0313.


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