The South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and Fitbit are proud to announce the success of A Healthier State House, a partnership with the South Carolina General Assembly to improve health awareness and make South Carolina a healthier place to live, work, play and govern.
In 2016, A Healthier State House brought together more than 100 state elected officials, including former governors Jim Hodges and Dick Riley, as well as Attorney General Alan Wilson and Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, to engage in a wellness program focused on healthier lifestyles. Through partnerships with local healthcare providers and organizations like the SC Alliance of YMCAs and Eat Smart, Move More SC, A Healthier State House offered health assessments, opportunities for physical activity, and other resources that improved the culture of wellness at the state capitol:
• 18% of participants lost significant weight and were no longer considered overweight.
• 78% of participants with elevated total cholesterol successfully reduced it.
• 9,083 steps were taken on average per day in the final month of the program. The top team averaged 10,907 steps per day.
“We applaud the South Carolina Hospital Association and South Carolina State House for bringing awareness to the important issue of improving health and wellness, and are thrilled to be working with them to demonstrate how our corporate wellness platform can help not only individuals, but populations work towards health and fitness objectives. With Fitbit, South Carolina’s leaders can inspire both their constituents and communities to lead healthier, more active lives,” said Amy McDonough, Vice President and General Manager of Fitbit Wellness.
The journey to A Healthier State House began in 2015 with a chance encounter between SCHA VP of Engagement, Rozalynn Goodwin, and Easley Republican State Representative Neal Collins at a health policy meeting. As Rep. Collins listened to Goodwin discuss the need to improve South Carolina’s low status as the 43rd healthiest state in the country, he knew that leadership starts at the top. And if South Carolina was going to improve the health of its citizens, state leaders needed to be at the forefront.
“We want to set an example for all South Carolinians. Healthier food choices and more physical activity can prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases that rob South Carolinians of a quality life and cost all of us a lot of money,” Collins said.
SCHA, Fitbit and other partners are working together again this year to continue raising awareness for improving South Carolina’s health status. Representative Neal Collins will again be leading the charge for his colleagues in the House while Senator Thomas McElveen of Sumter will be leading efforts in the Senate. Initial health screenings were completed last week and partners will be breaking ground on an interactive walking trail on the State House grounds in March. Lobbyists, legislative staff and other state agency employees are also committed to participate in A Healthier State House.