Just Getting Started: Employee Wellness Efforts at SC DJJ

My name is Aloysius Anderson. I am the Sustainability Program Administrator for SC Department of Juvenile Justice (SC DJJ) where we believe that the wellness of our staff is as important as the wellness of the environment where we all work. Months ago, we started on a journey to introduce a wellness program to our 1500 employees. Today, we have about 15% of our staff registered either as members at our wellness facility or active in one of our wellness programs.

In early 2014 we joined the Working Well initiative with a cohort of 17 other state agencies including all of the SC Governor’s cabinet agencies, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and the SC Governor’s Office. Through grant funding from The Duke Endowment, DHEC and the S.C. Hospital Association (SCHA) have partnered to conduct baseline worksite assessments and offer wellness consultation services to this 18 agency cohort. This initiative, which has been branded “A Healthier State: Make Every Work Day Great,” impacts nearly 25,000 state employees. The purpose of A Healthier State is to assess, implement, and help maintain effective worksite wellness environments and policies within these 18 organizations to help reduce health care costs, increase employee productivity, and reduce absenteeism. Together we can achieve more. Check out A Healthier State resources at www.scaledown.org/ahealthierstate.

In October 2014 the Department of Juvenile Justice Wellness Program held its first wellness fair, and grand opening of its employee wellness facility. The newly formed wellness team hosted 65 employees and 40 employees had a full panel blood screening. Starting with our successful fair we launched a Biggest Loser competition where the winner received over $200 in gifts and prize money right before Christmas holiday. Biggest Loser was a big hit with our staff and we plan to have a spring edition in 2015.

We also have an active “Walk for Wellness” initiative currently running. The goal is to walk the distance from the upstate to the coast along I-26, about 225 miles, in 45 days. That’s 10,000 steps a day. We have already had a few finishers! There will be a different destination goal every few months to keep everyone excited about getting out and walking.

Our wellness team includes managers and frontline employees at different levels of fitness. The team’s biggest challenge is reaching everyone. SC DJJ has staff in all 46 counties. We have uniform, and administrative staff. Our 2015 goal is to make sure that all co-workers statewide will be happier and healthier, because of the wellness program.


01-27-2015 09:39 (EST)