By: Blue Zones Project®, Dodge County
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin – June 7, 2017 – Today, Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc (BDCH), celebrating being named Wisconsin’s first Blue Zones Project Approved™Worksite with a ribbon cutting ceremony. More than thirty community members and employees attended the ceremony, including Kim Miller, President and CEO of Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Dr. Jason Smith, BDCH Chief Medical Officer, and representatives of the BDCH employee-led wellness program. The health system’s commitment to supporting longer, better lives among employees as well as those they serve was a key driving factor for bringing this initiative to Dodge County. As the primary sponsor of Blue Zones Project®, Dodge County, BDCH is leading the community-widewell-being improvement initiative—designed to make healthy choices easier through sustainable changes to environment, policy, and social networks.
“We are role modeling and leading the health of this county,” commented Kim Miller.“What we do is not only for our own benefit but it is also for the benefit of those that we are caring for. We want our employees to feel supported because it is a critical component.”
Forming an employee-led wellness committee was one of the first steps taken toward improving well-being at BDCH. The health system also began offering on-site fitness classes and a limited number of discounted Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)shares for employees. BDCH has also designated areas for employees to downshiftand has established mapped walking routes around the hospital grounds. Meanwhile,the BDCH Café has undergone a full-scale food service transformation by partneringwith Sustainable Kitchens, whose focus is to introduce locally sourced food and from-scratch cooking into institutional settings.
On Monday, the Beaver Dam Community Hospitals leadership team participated in a Purpose Workshop and employees had the opportunity to try Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese tradition that is practiced as a graceful form of exercise used to reduce stress. On Tuesday, five Walking Moai groups were formed by BDCH employees to increase social connections in the workplace.
“The wellness committee has done a lot of work to make easy, small changes that make a lasting impression in [employees’] lives” noted Mel Bruins, Chief Talent officer atBDCH.
Future well-being enhancements include the installation of stair riser stickers to make stairwells more inviting and encourage individuals to choose to take the stairs rather than the elevators. This simple swap can burn 10 calories per minute and aligns with the Blue Zones Project’s Power 9® principle, move naturally. Other Power 9 principlesare nine habits shared by residents of the world’s Blue Zones areas, where people live longer, with less chronic disease and higher quality of life. Other Power 9 principlesinclude eating with a plant slant, and living with purpose.
For details about becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite or general information about Blue Zones Project, Dodge County, call 920-212-8511, or visitdodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com.