Mercy Recognized as American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

May 21, 2014

Mercy has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association (AHA) for helping employees eat better and move more.

The program recognizes employers who value the health of their employees and work to create a culture of physical activity and health in the workplace.

“Those are important priorities here at Mercy,” said LeAnn Harris, director of operations for Mercy Health and Wellness. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall.”

Mercy’s latest employee health initiative is the “Walk to Dublin” program, which challenges co-workers to collectively walk 6,183 miles in a month (the distance to Dublin, Ireland, where Mercy was born). Last year, co-workers walked 123,000 miles (nearly 250 million steps).

Mercy facilities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma have either an on-staff wellness coordinator or designated wellness captain who is responsible for providing opportunities and implementing policies for healthier lifestyles. “Healthification,” Mercy’s wellness program, encourages well-balanced, healthy lifestyles through nutrition, physical activity, emotional and spiritual wellness, and smoking cessation.

Worksites can apply on an annual basis for the Fit-Friendly Worksite recognition. Platinum-level employers offer employees physical activity options in the workplace, increase healthy eating options at the worksite, promote a wellness culture in the workplace, implement at least nine criteria outlined by the AHA in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture, and demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

The American Heart Association says employers are losing about $225.8 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising.

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program, visit heart.org/worksitewellness.

In case you missed it: Earlier this year, Mercy was ranked 22nd in the 2014 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America. Click here to read more.