Georgetown Hospital System First in South Carolina to Earn Working Well Initiative Gold Medal Status for Three Program Pillars
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Murrells Inlet, SC- Georgetown Hospital System (GHS) is the first hospital in South Carolina to earn gold medal status recognition for three program pillars in South Carolina Hospital Association’s (SCHA) Working Well Initiative. The initiative established pillars of excellence that reflect evidence-based and effective policies of worksite wellness environments. The pillars are tobacco-free people and places, delicious and affordable healthy food environments and access and opportunity for physical activity during the workday. Recently designated as a Wellness Center of Excellence, GHS passed a thorough survey of hospital-wide employee programs that reflect all three pillars of wellness to earn gold medal status in each of these areas.
“We are delighted that our programs reflect best practices among employee wellness programs,” said GHS CEO Bruce P. Bailey. “Our most important asset is our employees and a concerted effort is made by all to be examples of health and wellness to the community members we serve.”
GHS met the criteria for the pillars of wellness by creating opportunities for physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco cessation. A stairway to wellness that designates one stairwell at each hospital facility for exercise was implemented, along with walking trails and on-site physical activity classes. A color-coded system to identify healthy eating options was introduced at hospital facility cafeterias. In addition, a “right-side, right choice” initiative was set-up in all vending machines which changed their arrangement to put all healthy eating options on the “right-side.” Dietitians also offer employees nutrition counseling as well as hosting other nutrition-related educational programs. Finally, GHS facilities are all tobacco-free and the hospital system offers tobacco cessation classes and support for all employees.
Tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity are all major risk factors that contribute to early and preventable disease and play a huge role in the cost of providing health services. Among employees, these risk factors result in higher absenteeism, lost productivity, and increased costs for employers. Georgetown Hospital System is proud to adopt a culture of wellness that makes healthy choices the easy choices for our employees.