The New London School District wasrecognized as a 2012-13 Silver School Employee Wellness Program winner by the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE, www.dhpe.org), a membership association of high level professionals from public health departments.
As a Silver winner, they will:
• Receive a $500 grant to use for their School Employee Wellness program from DHPE
• Receive a banner recognizing their achievement to display
• Be featured on DHPE’s school employee wellness website, and
• Be invited to National Conferences to make presentations about their successful School Employee Wellness program.
The School District of New London has staff complete Personal Health Assessments. Letters were sent to employees explaining the assessment and how to participate as well as a back to school in-service on the program. From 2011 to 2012 they saw a 5 percent reduction in high risk categories and a 3.2 percent improvement in low risk categories.
Based on this year’s assessment, the district held a “Holiday Trio” program in which employees were invited to create teams of three and weigh in before the holidays and again in January. Healthy eating tips and exercise tips were e-mailed to participants throughout the program.
School employee health is one area that DHPE focuses its work on with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2007, DHPE released a comprehensive guide providing information, practical tools, and resources for developing school employee wellness programs-School Employee Wellness: A Guide for Protecting the Assets of Our Nation’s Schools (available at www.schoolempwell.org), for which they received the first Lloyd J. Kolbe Award from CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH).
In 2009, DHPE launched an awards program to recognize schools that have implemented school employee wellness programs that promote employee health, improve workforce productivity and reduce the costs of employee absenteeism and healthcare. A total of 56 schools/districts from around the country submitted applications for DHPE’s 2012-2013 School Employee Wellness Awards program, and nine schools are being recognized.