(March 3, 2014)—Anne Arundel Medical Center was recognized once again by the American Heart Association (AHA) as a Gold-Level Fit-Friendly company for implementing programs to help employees eat better and move more.
“Investing in our employees’ health and wellness is a priority as a large employer and healthcare provider. By helping employees lead healthier lifestyles, our wellness program benefits extend to patients,” says Chad Dillard, executive director of wellness programs at the hospital. “We are extremely honored and excited to be recognized once again by the American Heart Association,” added Dillard. Anne Arundel Medical Center was recognized for its initiatives in:
• offering employees physical activity support;
• providing/increasing healthy eating options on campus;
• promoting a wellness culture; and
• implementing at least nine criteria as outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
With more than 4,000 employees, Anne Arundel Medical Center has engaged more than 50 percent of staff in activity challenges, weight loss programs, ongoing fitness classes, and smoking cessation programs since 2011.
“We’re very proud to have helped more than 200 team members track more than one ton of weight over a year,” says Dillard. “Staff participate in Weight Watchers at Work, individualized nutrition counseling, or Mayo Clinic Diet workshops. Periodic challenges, similar to The Biggest Loser, help motivate teams to help keep each other accountable as well. And a popular Couch to 3K walk/run around the Medical Park campus was a very visible activity engaging more than 600 participants in just one day.”
According to the American Heart Association, American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
For more information about AAMC’s Fit-Friendly Worksites program visit askAAMC.org/Energize.