PUBLISHED: 4:05 PM on Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition honors White's Inc.

Photo courtesy of Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition
  Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition member Doug Osborne, left, presents White's Inc. Employee Wellness Team Member Kate Calvin with the Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition's Well Workplace of the Month award for May.
SITKA- The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition has honored the White's Inc. with its Well Workplace of the Month award for May. The award recognizes a Sitka organization's efforts in promoting employee wellness within its workplaces.

White's Inc. (Harry Race and White's Pharmacy) has two locations, a very steady stream of customers and seven-day-a-week demands. Still White's Inc. has made wellness a priority because, as co-owner Trish White explains, "our store slogan is 'adding years to your life and life to your years.' In our endeavor to promote health and health education in Sitka, we have found that it has to start at home. So we have been dedicating energy to our employee wellness effort. It seems like a natural way to go."

The team at White's has navigated several barriers in order to have a successful employee wellness program. Since the staff works in two locations with varied schedules, White's uses a paycheck-stuffer strategy so the whole staff gets the same message at the same time. They have a particularly busy summer season, so they plan their program in the spring and do their wellness program in the summer when they need the wellness support. This spring, White's planned both a walking program and a healthy breakfast program that includes a nutrition policy for future White's Inc. gatherings.

"Most people are really excited about it and they are thinking about health. That's huge," White's Inc. Employee Wellness Team Member Kate Calvin said when asked about the wellness effort's effects on employees. "It's all about eating better and moving around, and it's gotten into the collective consciousness of White's Inc."

The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition is a community-wide organization promoting workplace wellness created as a follow-up to the 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 noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.