Christiana Care has earned the Health Champion designation from the American Diabetes Association. This newly launched designation recognizes companies and organizations that inspire and encourage organizational well-being and is part of the association’s Wellness Lives Here initiative.
“This recognition from the American Diabetes Association underscores our commitment to the health and wellness of our employees,” said Chris Corbo, corporate director of benefits and wellness. “Our goal is to encourage the adoption of healthy habits that will benefit our employees, their families and improve productivity and morale overall.”
To qualify for the Health Champion designation, Christiana Care achieved healthy living criteria in the following areas:
- Nutrition and weight management: Christiana Care’s cafeterias promote nutritional information and offer healthy food choices. These include healthy portion sizes of foods low in salt, and high in fiber and whole grains. It also includes the elimination of trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
- Physical activity: Christiana Care operates free employee fitness centers and promotes programs such as Fit4Life, Weight Watchers at Work and Optifast. Wellness walking activities and trails are available on each campus. A permanent stone labyrinth is available for walking meditation, as well as a portable labyrinth. Each week employees can choose from 25 group exercise classes as well as systemwide challenges throughout the year.
- Organizational well-being: Christiana Care has been a tobacco-free campus since 2005. A Health and Wellness Council seeks to improve employee health and wellness, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. Employees are encouraged to “know their numbers” — including weight, body-mass index, blood pressure and blood sugar levels — through a voluntary and free biometric screening and online health assessment.
“Engaging employees or members in healthy living is no easy task,” said Denise Andersen, Director of the ADA’s Mid-Atlantic North Region. “We applaud the Health Champions for their commitment to making the health and wellness of employees a priority in their organizations.”
Severely overweight and obese individuals risk developing pre-diabetes or diabetes, especially if they have a family history of the disease. According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, an estimated 70,000 adult Delawareans have diabetes. The prevalence of Delaware adults diagnosed with diabetes more than doubled from 4.9 percent in 1991 to 11.1 percent in 2013, and the state rate mirrors the national trend.
To learn more about the American Diabetes Association’s Wellness Lives Here program, go to www.diabetes.org/wellnessliveshere.