Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DOE Health and Wellness Team

Last week I was asked to join the Health and Wellness team at work. This officially sanctioned state group was organized with the express purpose of assisting people in living happier healthier lives. Their mission is to work to provide support for the complete physical and emotional needs of all department staff. This broad arching goal is accomplished through the organizing of a large variety of healthy living activities (Everest Challenge), lunch and learn workshops, massage therapy sessions and a variety of other seminars. In addition, we work throughout the year to bring attention to important issues in men’s and women’s health (Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer, Women’s Heart Health, etc.). I considered it an honor to be asked to participate!

One of the current issues that the group has brought to my attention is how to get more employees involved in our various health and wellness activities. At my first attended meeting I plan to discuss the use of blogging as a great way to market our various programs and bring public attention to our various causes. I envision a blogsite where employees can go to get updated information on all of our various physical and mental education programs and activities. By using the “multiple authors” feature several of us will be able to post and provide DOE staff with up to the minute updates. It is my hope that by being better informed people will be more interested in becoming more involved. I plan to search around and see if there are other blogs that discuss general health and overall wellness but if anyone has any suggestions please post a comment. Now I just need to think up a name for our new site!?!?!?

I suppose at the heart of this discussion is: Why should we be interested in improving the health of the state employee? Aside from the important fact that it will help people lead a life with fewer health related issues. Statistics also show that increasing numbers of health related issues plague a majority of the state’s population and will continue to cause a significant drain on the state’s health care system. Investing now in helping to improve the overall health of an individual is a long term investment that in the end will yield big dividends. It is estimated that a $1.00 per person spent on health and wellness education now will within a 20 year period drop medical costs for that individual by over $1,000.00. This is a significant savings of tax payer dollars! If this idea works maybe I will get a promotion!


  1. RO,

    Even though I am very much a fiscal conservative, I have always said that an effective health care system would, in the long run, save us 5 times what we put in. The operative word being effective.

    But that's not the topic of your post. Any program that sees to the health and welfare of the individual is a good thing. Unfortunately it is very frequently a volunteer position, with little if any authority, time, or investment.

    If you can find ways to motivate people into participation, have them take responsibility for improving themselves and their health, and do it in such a way that minimizes your time commitment, then you have a real shot at pulling something effective off.

    Keep us posted!
    Albert A Rasch
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
    Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
    Southeast Regional OBS Coordinator

  2. Albert,

    Don't watch "Sicko" by Michael Moore . . . it will only make you lose more faith in our current health care system.

    I always say that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. You can provide support for an individuals health care needs but without an individuals desire to take better care of their physical and emotional needs those efforts are wasted.

    Wise words thanks for contributing.


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