PUBLISHED: 3:49 PM on Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition honors SAFV

Photo courtesy of SEARHC
  Martina Kurzer, left, Employee Wellness Team Leader for Sitkans Against Family Violence, is presented with the Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition's Well Workplace of the Month award for February by Jennifer Spriggel, RN, Manager of Sitka Community Hospital's Mountainside Family Health Care.
The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition has honored Sitkans Against Family Violence with its Well Workplace of the Month award for February. The award recognizes a Sitka organization's efforts in promoting employee wellness within its workplaces.

SAFV won the award for several reasons, including how it demonstrates senior-level support. SAFV Executive Director Chris Bauman attended last September's Well Workplace University, designated an employee wellness team leader and put wellness on the agenda of every staff meeting (which now offer healthy snacks instead of cakes and cookies). Employees completed a needs and interest survey at a recent staff meeting so the newly formed wellness team can plan the best possible programs.

"This is a very stressful environment and if people take good care of themselves and stay healthy it's better for them, for the clients, for everyone," Bauman said when asked why she's so supportive of employee wellness.

Over the past several months, SAFV built momentum for wellness by making Dyna bands available for workday exercise, holding walk-and-talk meetings, distributing educational materials and having employees do health screenings so SAFV had baseline data to track the effectiveness of the program. "The wellness idea is here to stay," says SAFV Employee Wellness Team Leader Martina Kurzer.

"SAFV 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 the Well Workplace University that took place in Sitka in September 2006. 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, Feb. 16, 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.