DAODAS shares plans for creating and implementing a Culture of Wellness

The S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) has been diligently working with other state agencies, community partners, and employees to create a culture of wellness that promotes healthy lifestyle changes. In October 2014, Director Bob Toomey made a commitment to “making healthy policy changes to help all employees live longer and live better.”

Through Director Toomey’s executive commitment, DAODAS is moving forward with policy changes that support a culture of wellness that includes emphasis on a tobacco-free environment, nutrition, and physical activity. This commitment supports a comprehensive approach to creating goals within the agency’s strategic plan.

DAODAS has focused on its partnership with the S.C. Department of Mental Health (DMH) to include both agencies in wellness initiatives at the DMH/DAODAS offices at 2414 Bull Street.  Together, DAODAS and DMH hosted a program in which employees began a 12-week healthy living challenge. This challenge provided the employees with weekly support, weight-loss tips, nutrition tips, and weekly weigh-ins to track their progress. DAODAS and DMH staff collectively lost more than 100 pounds!

DAODAS is now working on specific programs designed to establish a work environment that creates and promotes health programs and events for employees and their families. Currently, the DAODAS Wellness Committee is establishing a health promotion program that will set the goals for the committee and agency. These goals will be related to increasing employee knowledge of benefits and services, providing health and wellness programs, and creating clear metrics for measuring progress over time. The Wellness Committee will introduce its mission, purpose, and goals during the quarterly DAODAS staff meeting in September 2015.

The Wellness Committee is also working with its partners at the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) to schedule an annual Worksite Prevention Screening. This screening, available free to employees, will include a blood pressure check, health risk assessment, and lipid panels (high cholesterol and congestive heart failure). In addition, flu vaccinations will be available as part of the screening. A confidential report of all biometrics will be given to employees, who can then discuss the results with their primary care physicians.

In addition to the health screenings, DAODAS and its DMH partners are working toward establishing policies and procedures for emergency response services. These services will include the training of employees in CPR/AED, policies and procedures regarding AED equipment, and protocols for emergency response at the DMH/DAODAS building.

DAODAS is working toward a cultural change to improve the overall health and wellness of its employees by creating an environment that fits the needs of employees and creating a workplace that supports their overall wellbeing.  For more information, or to provide wellness recommendations, please contact Bridget Butler, DAODAS Prevention Consultant, at bbutler@daodas.sc.gov.

08-28-2015 09:19 (EDT)