The announcement was made Nov. 13 at the Wynfrey Hotel at the annual Healthiest Employers Luncheon. UAB was a finalist in the large company category along with the City of Birmingham, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama, American Cast Iron Pipe Co., Baptist Health System, Protective Life Corp and Children’s of Alabama. Awards also were given to companies with 2-200 local employees and 201-499 local employees.
UAB’s recognition marks the first time it has been awarded first place in the award’s history; UAB finished second in the contest in 2011.
“UAB has made a commitment to helping our employees improve their health and wellness,” says Lauren Whitt, Ph.D., UAB Wellness Program coordinator. “Our employees work hard to excel for so many of our students, patients and the community. UAB Wellness wants to do the same for them. We are working hard to build a program that invests in their health and excited to see that our employees are embracing our initiatives.”
The Farm Stand and the innovative Green Screens program were cited as reasons for UAB’s recognition for the BBJ award.
Green Screens, made possible in part with help from the UAB Advance Nursing Coordinators Community Outreach team, 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 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.
Cultivate, innovate and collaborate
UAB Wellness continues to implement new ways to support employees, and also will continue to promote some familiar programs.
UAB Wellness recently started the new Courage Network — a support network of UAB women who beat breast cancer and are inspiring others who have been diagnosed to thrive. Employees can register for the program and join a network of women who are willing to meet for lunch or coffee and chat about their experiences in facing breast cancer.
The Healthy Holiday social media campaign will kick off again this year after the Thanksgiving holiday. The UAB Wellness team will post daily tips, recipes and resources for making this holiday season a healthy one. No registration is required for this online program; simply follow @uabwellness on Twitter or like UAB Wellness on Facebook to be encouraged and inspired to make healthy choices this holiday season.
Other recognizable programs also will return in 2013. The tobacco-cessation program and Scale Back Alabama weigh-ins will return in January. EatRight’s weight-management classes will resume after the first of the year, and The Farm Stand will return in the spring. More initiatives also are in the works. And, of course, Wellness will continue to work with campus partners to direct employees to campus resources available to them and their families.
“Our goal is to continue to cultivate, innovate and collaborate with partners across campus and keep building that bridge between the resources we have and the employees who need help,” Whitt says.
Learn more about all of UAB Wellness’ initiatives and find resources at www.uab.edu/wellness.