KentuckyOne Health Louisville Market Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

1/14/2013

Media Contact(s):
Barbara Mackovic
Senior Manager
BarbaraMackovic@KentuckyOneHealth.org
Phone: 502-587-4230
Cell Phone: 502-641-5461
Direct Phone: 502-562-7075

Louisville, Ky.—KentuckyOne Health Louisville and Shelbyville facilities have been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit- Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.

Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. KentuckyOne Health is committed to improving the health of all Kentuckians, and through collaboration with the American Heart Association has been able to improve employee wellness.

"I am pleased that our wellness program has been recognized by the American Heart Association, but more importantly I am thrilled that the innovative programs are helping our employees live healthier lives," said Julie McGregor, vice president, Human Resources, KentuckyOne Health.

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 American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
• Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

KentuckyOne Health Louisville Market implemented multiple programs to improve employee health and wellness, including:
• Hosted first Cooper Clayton Smoking Cessation class for our employees and the community
• Launched a “Ready-to-Quit” smoking cessation program designed to make FDA approved smoking cessation medication affordable and accessible for employees
• Implemented “Free Fruit Fridays” where employees received a free piece of fruit with lunch
• Launched Pre-Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome program for employees
• Opened three of “Mayor's Mile” walking paths at Louisville-area facilities
• Promoted “Wear Red Day” for all of the Louisville employees to raise awareness for heart health

The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and wellness a priority.

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. Fit-Friendly Worksites are listed on the program’s national website, and are recognized during the Kentuckiana Heart Walk, at the Heart Walk Leadership Breakfast and on informational materials. Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.

“The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement opportunity for corporations to increase employees’ physical activity, which will help improve their health – and their employers’ bottom line,” said Kathy Renbarger, vice president, American Heart Association. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, call 502-587-8641 or visit startwalkingnow.org.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.
 

About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University Medical Center.  The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with more than 16,000 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky and has more than 2,700 licensed beds.
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Last Updated: 9/6/2013