Healthy Community Coalition to Hold Third Annual Work Healthy Program
Awards businesses that promote good health for their employees
December 17, 2009
The Healthy Community Coalition is holding its third annual Work Healthy! program, which recognizes local businesses and organizations in Greater Franklin County that have placed a high priority on promoting good health for their employees.
By supporting a tobacco-free lifestyle, encouraging physical activity, and/or promoting healthy eating—businesses and organizations may realize the benefits of a healthier workforce including reduced absenteeism, reduced disability costs, reduced health care costs, improved productivity, and increased staff morale and loyalty.
Through participation in the program, local businesses can earn a Work Healthy! award, recognizing them as community leaders for promoting good health for their employees.
“It’s an easy, low-cost way to support employees, and offers businesses many benefits,” said Nate Morse, program coordinator. “A business may already qualify for a Work Healthy! award if it has a written tobacco-free policy, offers healthy food choices, or promotes health and wellness in other ways.”
According to Morse, Healthy Community Coalition staff can provide no-cost technical assistance ideas and guidance for implementing strategies to improve the health of one’s workforce. A sampling of activities used by area businesses has included: implementing the company’s tobacco policy; offering a brown bag forum on healthy eating; paying part of the fee for an employee to attend Weight Watchers or an exercise program; offering healthy food options when hosting meetings; and organizing a corporate team to participate in a charity walk.
Twenty-six businesses and organizations participated in the Work Healthy! program in 2009, doubling the number from the previous year. Mt. Blue Regional School District was a silver recipient last year; Dr. Michael Cormier, district superintendent, recently said, “We’re going for the gold award in 2010.”
Participants in 2009 included: TD Banknorth; Camden National Bank; Franklin Community Health Network; Lewiston Sun Journal; Mt. Blue Regional School District; Verso Paper, Androscoggin Mill; Androscoggin Bank; Jay Town Office; Turner Publishing; Paris Farmers Union, Jay; Star Barn; Community Concepts, Inc.; Seniors Plus; Hannaford Bros., Farmington and Jay; SAD #36; Maine DOT Region 3; Bangor Savings Bank, Farmington; Franklin Savings Bank; Work First; United Way of the Tri-Valley Area; University of Maine at Farmington; LEAP Inc.; Maine Department of Health & Human Services, Farmington; Western Maine Community Action; and Notify MD.
For additional information contact the Healthy Community Coalition at 779-3136 or go online to: www.fchn.org/work-healthy.
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