PUBLISHED: 4:27 PM on Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition honors SEARHC

Photo courtesy of SEARHC
  Rocky Plotnick, left, chair of SEARHC's Juneau Medical Center Employee Wellness Team, is presented the Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition's Well Workplace of the Month award for March by Natasha Petrofsky, coordinator of City and Borough of Juneau's Health Yourself Program.
The Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition honored the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Juneau Medical Center's Employee Wellness Team with its Well Workplace of the Month award for March.

The award recognizes a Juneau organization's efforts in promoting employee wellness within its worksites.

SEARHC's Juneau Medical Center Employee Wellness Team is less than a year old, creating local projects and working in conjunction with the older SEARHC Employee Wellness Team based in Sitka.

The Juneau team received upper management support, which adopted the motto "Creating a Culture of Healthy Lifestyle Choices" for all staff. Biometric screenings available to all Juneau staff members took place Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 so employees could enter their blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol numbers into an online Health Risk Appraisal/Healthy Lifestyle Quiz (HRA/HLQ) the consortium uses to plan employee wellness activities. Every 50th employee to complete the HRA/HLQ won $50 and other employees won Alaska Airlines miles.

"I think the process of taking the questionnaire is as valuable as the questionnaire itself," said Norm Kirschbaum, a case management nurse manager at SEARHC Juneau Medical Center who won one of the $50 awards.

"It really stimulates awareness and motivated me to stay healthy."

SEARHC's current employee wellness event is the Colorful Choices program where employees track their fruit and vegetable intake.

As with most employee wellness initiatives, participation can result in great prizes and this time it's boxes of organic produce from Full Circle Farms.

The Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition is a community-wide organization promoting workplace wellness after co-hosting September's Well Workplace University.

The coalition is co-sponsored by the State of Alaska Division of Public Health, SEARHC and the Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program.

The coalition's next meeting is from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, in Room 108 of the state's Department of Environmental Conservation Building.

The meetings are open to all Juneau businesses and organizations wanting to learn about employee wellness.

For more information on the Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition, contact Evelyn Williams of the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program at 364-4454 or Carol White at the state's Alaska Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at 465-8670.