On April 28, ten labor-management teams gathered with the Labor Management Project staff and sponsors to tell one another how they had improved their own and their co-workers’ health and physical fitness. Coordinated by the LMP and administered by facility-based labor-management wellness teams, the year-and-a-half long 1199SEIU-LMI Worksite Wellness Incentive Program provided monetary incentives for employees who met their health goals, which included walking, biking, diabetes and disease management, stress reduction, tobacco cessation, and attending on-site fitness and weight management classes. Other incentives were awarded to workers who attended wellness fairs to measure blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels.
The program also recruited Wellness Champions who helped motivate their coworkers to lose weight and lead healthier lives. One of these champions, Activities Facilitator Caroline DeHoyos from Hebrew Home at Riverdale talked about how she motivated herself and others to exercise. “I also lost 20 pounds and plan to continue on my path to living a healthier lifestyle,” she said.
The teams took a break from celebrating their accomplishments and sharing their challenges by getting up from their seats and participating in an energizing exercise routine.
Members of each team discussed their strategies for helping fellow employees understand the importance of being healthy, and the challenges they faced. “I formed a walking club to walk during break time, lunch and after work at my job,” said Jacynth Stewart, an 1199 Dietary Worker and Delegate at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital who served as a co-lead for the labor/management Wellness committee. “They really enjoyed the walking club. Instead of taking the elevator, we would get additional exercise and use the stairs. Living a healthier lifestyle can change your life.”
Read more about the LMP’s workplace wellness initiatives.