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SHU recognized as Healthy Workplace

By Sacred Heart University

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From left are Business Council of Fairfield County President and CEO Christopher Bruhl, and Sacred Heart University Human Resources employees Michele Ellis, Vice President Robert Hardy, Sally Schettino and Kathy Adams. SHU was a winner of the Council's Healthy Workplace Awards in February 2012. Contributed photo
FAIRFIELD, CT - The Business Council of Fairfield County has recognized Sacred Heart University as a Gold Level award winner for its successful efforts in promoting a healthy workplace. The award ceremony took place at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel on February 14.

This is the third consecutive win for the university. In addition, SHU received the 2011 “Award of Distinction for Workplace Wellness” from the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.

Sacred Heart University has a total of 1,150 employees, which includes full-time and part-time staff, faculty and adjunct professors. The Human Resources Division launched its Wellness Program in the fall of 2007. Its goal was to provide employees with the opportunity to become more aware of their health and to take action to lead a healthier lifestyle. This meant providing employees with several different options. The program offers on-site fitness classes, including Zumba, spinning and yoga. Discounts at local fitness facilities are also available to employees. An annual university health fair for faculty/staff, students and family members offers biometric health screenings, mobile mammograms though St. Vincent Hospital, healthy cooking demonstrations and more.

Over the past four years, the Wellness Program has also provided opportunities for employees to participate in educational programs such as Lunch & Learns, Weight Watchers at Work®, weight loss webinars and stress management programs. Wellness fairs have attracted as many as 250 employees. These fairs have included a “Health and Wellness” testing center, where attendees can have their blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index measured. In addition, female employees, with a doctor’s referral, can have their annual mammogram performed in a mobile testing unit.

Lunch & Learns offer information on nutrition and exercise, provided by SHU’s own professors of Human Movement and Sports Science. The University Fitness Center orientation for employees and their families was launched in the summer of 2009 and led by a professor of Exercise Science. Participating employees were asked to complete a health questionnaire and then were given a tour of the fitness center, along with detailed instruction on the benefits of cardiovascular weight training. Participants also received a personalized start-up routine and their progress was monitored. The Sacred Heart University Wellness Program recently introduced its newest Healthy Coaching program. This program is made up of four different modules: Stress Management, Weight Loss, Smoking Cessation and Heart Health. The programs are free and open to all faculty and staff.

This year the university announced the Smoke- Free Campus initiative, which took effect January 1. The program was enacted to promote a campus that has a mutual respect, wellness and sustainability among the entire Sacred Heart community. Sacred Heart’s Wellness Program aims to provide a safe, clean environment while promoting good health to the entire campus.

“We are honored and flattered to receive this important recognition. We continue our commitment to our employees’ health and wellness,” said Rob Hardy, vice president for Human Resources.

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