JUNEAU - The Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition has honored South East Regional Resource Center (SERRC, Alaska's educational resource center) with its Well Workplace of the Month Award for May. The monthly award recognizes the efforts of Juneau organizations that promote employee wellness within their worksites.
SERRC started its employee wellness program in March 2008, when it began gathering staff wellness interests and needs and also distributed pedometers (step counters) to track the physical activity of participating employees. With more than 80 employees working at four locations in Juneau and offices in Anchorage, SERRC created four competing employee teams. Employees are encouraged to compete for wellness-related prizes based on who has the greatest increase in average activity, and having healthy potlucks and a variety of other wellness-themed contests.
SERRC Wellness Committee Chairwoman Darcy Markovich is a model for healthy lifestyles and fuel conservation by biking to work an average of three days per week. Other staff members have been joining Markovich on her 12-mile rides from the Mendenhall Valley to SERRC's downtown office.
To help build SERRC's employee wellness program, the team recently earned a workplace wellness grant of $3,130 from the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska Program. The grant will be used to help with SERRC's lunchtime physical activity program, nutrition programs and health choice options.
The Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition is a community-wide organization promoting workplace wellness and the group is open to all Juneau workplaces interested in designing and implementing effective employee wellness plans. The coalition was created as a follow-up to the Working Well in Alaska employee wellness training seminar held in October in Juneau, and is co-sponsored by SEARHC and the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska program. Participants in the coalition may be able to apply for small grants from the Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska program to help promote employee wellness within their organizations.
The Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition hosts its next monthly brown-bag lunch meeting from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, June 9, at the Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska suite on the third floor of the Goldbelt Building, 801 W. 10th St., Suite 301. For more information on the Juneau Employee Wellness Coalition, contact SEARHC Steps to a Healthier Southeast Alaska Program Grant Manager Grace Brooks at 966-8865 in Sitka or call Carol White of Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska at 523-3407 in Juneau.