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Texas Health Cleburne Employees Complete Wellness Competition
09/29/2009

CLEBURNE, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne employees recently lost 359.6 pounds and walked more than 31.5 million steps in a 12-week wellness and fitness competition among employees called Shape Up Texas Health. Overall, Texas Health Resources employees lost the weight of an elephant.

Employees across the health care system formed fitness teams in June and competed in three categories: weight loss, minutes exercised and steps taken. During the competition, Texas Health Cleburne employees lost an average of 7.3 pounds, exercised 33 minutes per day, and walked 7,825 steps per day.

“Being on a team and having the chance to communicate with each other online helped motivate people in job roles across the hospital and across different shift schedules,” said Ronda Dillard, R.N., employee and occupational health nurse and a Shape Up Texas Health team captain. “Having that support system was a great motivator for the entire group.”

In 12 weeks, the 3,539 Texas Health employees who participated exercised for more than 4.3 million minutes, walked more than 1 billion steps, and lost a total of 8,676 pounds. Winning teams in each of the three categories received a $1,000 reward.

“Our goal with this program was to motivate employees to focus on improving their own health and fitness,” said Carla Dawson, Texas Health administrative director of benefits and total health. “The results have exceeded our expectations. We have heard compelling stories about how this program gave employees the encouragement they needed to break unhealthy habits and make positive changes.”

During the 12-week Shape Up Texas Health contest, participants lost an average 3.6 percent of their total body weight. Texas Health Resources gave each participant log books to track results, literature on how to eat healthy and exercise, and access to a Web site with planning and tracking tools. Participants were also given free pedometers, and everyone who completed the 12-week competition will be given a free duffel bag.

Shape Up Texas Health is just one component of Texas Health’s comprehensive employee wellness program, called Be Healthy. The program emphasizes awareness, healthy lifestyle choices, and disease prevention. Each year, employees are invited to complete a health risk assessment and are given a $100 award for doing so. Additional awards are given for getting a physical, lab panel, various health screenings, or for taking a stress assessment.

Earlier this year, Texas Health Resources was one of only 63 employers nationwide to receive the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles award from the National Business Group on Health. The award recognizes the nation’s leading corporations for innovative programs that promote a healthy workplace and for helping employees and their families make better choices about their health and well-being.

Employer-sponsored wellness programs could become a key component of health care reform. They are designed to help lower health insurance costs and improve the health of the workforce, which in turn leads to less absenteeism and better productivity.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital’s services include surgery, women’s services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Texas Health Cleburne, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized with the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Cleburne.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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