New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Healthy is Contagious in Hunterdon!
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Partnership for Health members collaborate with Hunterdon Chamber

Sorry everyone, you can’t wash this one away with soap and water! We are infecting workplaces with “Healthy” and it’s contagious. We may have an epidemic on our hands!

In January of 2016, Hunterdon County Partnership for Health, together with the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, created the Healthy Hunterdon Workforce Initiative (HHWI). This initiative challenges employers and employees to integrate a “Culture of Health” into their workplaces through policy change, environmental change, and what we call– “an attitude change”.

“Small Changes, Big Impact” is our message.  Each company assigns a CMO (Chief Motivation Officer) or Champion to attend quarterly meetings where companies can share successes, listen to presentations and gather information to bring back to their workplaces. We bring relevant information to the group: healthy options for meetings, recipes for busy working parents, healthy bagged lunch ideas, and stress-reducing strategies… we even had someone from the Hunterdon County Parks Department talk about the local hiking trails.

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HHWI Member Shoprite of Hunterdon County encouraging employees to embrace healthy habits

The real beauty of this initiative is listening to inspirational success stories. Justin Grand of the Hunterdon County YMCA had his team walk to Shanghai! Now that’s a lot of steps! He also shared how one of his employees had never exercised before and is now walking on a regular basis. Other companies described team weight loss, and how they have altered the foods served at meetings and in their lunch rooms. Walking meetings are becoming very popular and employees are being encouraged to get up and move!

The focus of this initiative is not solely around healthy eating and exercise but on healthy living. This includes things like managing stress, seeking preventive care, volunteerism– anything that has a positive impact on someone’s health, well-being and quality of life. We took advantage of the Chamber’s established communication network to push out information about the initiative. Members receive regular communication through the Chamber’s newsletter and email blasts to keep them motivated. The Chamber’s website hosts an archive of all of the information so that it is always accessible. For more information: kblanda@hhsnj.org

Project
Author
Kim Blanda, RN, BSN
Organization
Hunterdon County Partnership for Health