SC hospital representatives tour NC facilities

On June 29, NC Prevention Partners’ Quit-Tobacco Team met with Working Well staff and representatives from four South Carolina hospitals to visit three hospitals in Western North Carolina that are doing great things for their employees’ wellness.  Representatives from Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Baptist Easley Hospital, Hilton Head Regional Medical Center, and Clarendon Health System were given the opportunity to learn best practices from leading North Carolina hospitals working on employee wellness.

The tour included stops at Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson, NC; Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, NC; and Grace Hospital, part of Blue Ridge HealthCare, in Morganton, NC.  At each location, the group had the opportunity to meet with key members of the C-suite and wellness team staff, tour dining facilities, check out tobacco-free signage, and see available fitness facilities.

At Ashe Memorial Hospital, the group was introduced to Buddy Bee, who identifies healthy choices in the cafeteria and opportunities for physical activity at the hospital.  Ashe earned the Red Apple Award for their work using Buddy Bee to market healthy food options, adding lower-priced healthy choices, and increasing nutritional labeling throughout the cafeteria.  Hospital staff also shared information about earning the Gold Star, meeting the highest standards for providing benefits, resources, and a tobacco-free environment.

Caldwell Memorial Hospital demonstrated their outstanding commitment to promoting wellness for employees, including tobacco cessation, healthy eating and physical activity initiatives, but showed they are also a leader in creating wellness programs for the surrounding community.  CEO Laura Easton and the corporate leadership team shared their incredible collaboration with the city to build and sustain a multi-acre community garden and provided a tour of their state-of-the-art fitness facilities.

Grace Hospital has served as a NC Prevention Partners’ Center of Excellence, and they showed the tour group many of the initiatives they have undertaken as a Red Apple and Gold Star hospital.  In the cafeteria, Grace offers a daily Healthy Meal Deal and a special Veggie Plate for just $3.00.  To earn the Gold Star, the hospital enhanced the benefits and resources available to help employees quit the use of tobacco.  They now offer nicotine replacement therapy and prescription quit tobacco medications at no cost.  They increase their signage on their tobacco-free campus, and their CEO, Kenneth Wood, recently sent communication to all employees commending those who had already quit and encouraging others to do likewise.

Throughout the tour, corporate leaders emphasized the health, financial and worker productivity benefits of a robust wellness program.  It was an outstanding opportunity for all those involved to see the exciting things happening at these hospitals and to identify new ideas for change as a part of Working Well.

To learn more about Working Well and the resources available to participating South Carolina hospitals, contact Jen Wright, 803.744.3553. 

07-26-2011 04:56 (EDT)