PUBLISHED: 5:34 PM on Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition honors Hames Corp.
SITKA - The Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition has honored the Hames Corp. with its Well Workplace of the Month award for June.

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

Hames Corp. operates Sea Mart, Market Center and Cascade Convenience Centers. Hames has been working with the Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition and the State of Alaska to create an outcomes-based employee wellness program for its 150 employees.

"Employee wellness programs are good for employees and for the bottom line," Hames Chief Financial Officer Max Rule said.

Photo courtesy of Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition
  Hames Corporation Employee Wellness Team Members Max Rule, left, and Linda Bixby were presented with the Sitka Employee Wellness Coalition's Well Workplace of the Month award for June.
The Hames Employee Wellness Team currently is converting the employee break room at Sea Mart into a wellness room, newly appointed wellness team leader Linda Bixby said. She said the remodeled room will be painted in soft pastel colors, with a mural on one wall, and there will be new comfortable and durable furniture.

"We're trying to reduce stress at work and it will be a place where employees can go when they need to relax," she said. "We'll have wellness media in the room to help people make positive lifestyle changes, for example there could be brochures on nutrition. There will be a bulletin board with positive information, where people can post success stories."

In addition to the revamped break room, Bixby said Hames sponsors a family swim night once a month and the employee wellness team is looking into renting a gym for family oriented activities. She said the team plans to purchase a covered bike rack that could be used by employees and customers, and about 80 employees have expressed interest in a pedometer walking program.

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, July 13, 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.