Sunnyvale School District Launches Pilot Employee Wellness Program

Wellness is an important part of our work site culture at Sunnyvale School District. As we serve the children in our communities, we also need to ensure we are caring for our own health and well-being. To address this, the Sunnyvale School District is excited to announce a pilot Employee Wellness Program was launched in September to promote and support the personal health of our employees. The program is sponsored by the Santa Clara County Schools Insurance Group (SCCSIG) in partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente.

SCCSIG’s mission is to offer Sunnyvale School District employees programs, resources, and activities that support and promote optimal health, including nutritional, physical, and emotional well-being. The District’s Wellness Committee will be working hard at providing employees of the district with activities and events that will not only help to improve their quality of life but also encourage them to have some fun at work as well. A committee has been formed to identify the health needs, interests, and issues among the employees and to provide services and resources for long-term healthy goals. There will be on-going monthly meetings throughout the school year.

On September 10, 2013, the pilot program was rolled out with a biometric screening for District Office and Operations staff giving them a chance to earn rewards for participating in Step 1 of the wellness campaign. There was a great turn out! Participation was voluntary and more than half of the 79 eligible employees participated in the event. The biometric screening included a finger stick to check cholesterol and blood glucose levels, a blood pressure reading, and height/weight body mass index (BMI) measurement. Employees could also complete an online Health Risk Assessment along with signing a Declaration to be tobacco-free in 2014 in order to earn more rewards.

“The District’s Employee Wellness Program has the added benefit of supporting the wellness policies and practices we have for our students,” stated Michael Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, “In addition, such programs save employees money in terms of productivity due to absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, and health insurance premiums.”

As this program continues to be rolled out, the District will be offering other health and fitness activities throughout the coming year. The intention is to have the Employee Wellness Program district-wide with individual wellness committees at each school site coinciding with efforts across the district. The Sunnyvale School District believes the everyday choices that we make can help us live healthier and happier lives – both at work and at home.

Article by Deborah Dodge

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