UAB’s Employee Wellness Program recognized again by AHA as Fit-Friendly, Innovative

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Participants of the 2012 Fun Run.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has recognized UAB’s Wellness Program with its Worksite Innovation and gold-level Fit Friendly Company awards for 2012.

This marks the second year in a row the AHA has awarded the university’s Wellness Program with the Innovation Award; UAB has been recognized as a gold-level Fit Friendly Company for the past several years. The AHA specifically cited the Green Screens blood pressure screening program as the reason for selecting UAB for the Innovation Award this year. In 2011, UAB received that recognition for implementation of the Farm Stand, which makes fresh fruits and vegetables available at competitive prices for employees, students and patients during the spring and summer. It is made possible through a partnership with UAB Hospital Food and Nutrition Services.

“Both of these programs have been well received by the UAB community, and the Green Screens program was a great success this past summer,” says Lauren Whitt, Ph.D., UAB Wellness Program coordinator. “We really owe a huge thanks to our Advanced Nursing Coordinator Community Outreach team for helping us make this program a reality.”

The Green Screens were held every Friday for 14 weeks in the UAB Hospital North Pavilion Main Lobby and also included the UAB Employee Wellness Summer 5 in 5 Challenge. The five-week program focused on nutrition and physical activity and featured weekly weigh-ins along with the blood pressure screens. The goal was to help employees lose five pounds in five weeks, lower their blood pressure five points in five weeks, and engage in five designated activities in five weeks. The other activities included running groups, visiting the Farm Stand, participating in Zumba and/or Yoga at Railroad Park and Lunch & Learn Mondays, among others.

“All of these programs are aimed at giving our faculty and staff opportunities to engage in healthy eating, planning and exercise activity,” Whitt says. “We want to be available to help our employees either reach their desired goals or help get them get started on making healthy life changes. We know it can be overwhelming trying to find a place to start. We’re here to help and encourage.”

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More than 350 runners participated in this year's Fun Run.

Opportunities & Activities

UAB Employee Wellness hosted the second annual UAB Fun Run Oct. 13 with more than 300 faculty, staff, students and their family members participating.

Wellness also is reaching out into the community and will host a two-day Innovations in Wellness Conference at the UAB Alumni House Nov. 14-15. The conference will give the local community access to UAB’s dynamic experts, practitioners, researchers, physicians and professors as they share insights on the business of health and wellness.

In addition, the program also recently launched the Courage Network to help connect faculty and staff battling breast cancer with other faculty and staff members who have overcome the disease.

More opportunities will be available to employees in 2013, and popular initiatives will continue, including the Farm Stand, which will return to open its Spring Market in March.

You can always find more information on other Wellness initiatives – including the on-campus walking trails, smoking cessation, stress management and more – at www.uab.edu/wellness.

Be Healthy