The Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) has been recognized as a 2009 SILVER School Employee Wellness Program winner by the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE), a membership organization for health promotion and health education professionals within state health agencies, U.S. territories, and the Indian Health Service. The SASD is one of nine school districts that are being recognized with this national award.
As a SILVER winner, the SASD will:
- Receive a $500 grant to use for their School Employee Wellness program from DHPE
- Receive a banner recognizing their achievement to proudly display
- Be featured on DHPE's school employee wellness web site, and
- Be invited to National Conferences to make presentations about their successful School Employee Wellness program.
The SASD school employee wellness program focuses on four health areas that were identified by employee health risks and interests: 1) weight loss, 2) stress management, 3) physical activity, and 4) healthy eating. Activities have included: weekly fitness challenges, presentations about healthy eating, preventative screenings, weight loss challenges, etc. As a result of the district's 2009 school employee wellness program, 40 staff members were identified with high blood pressure and have received appropriate follow-up treatment and counseling. In 2008 four employees quit smoking and continue to be smoke-free one- year later.
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).
This past year, 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 health-care. A total of 46 schools/districts from around the country submitted applications for DHPE's 2009 School Employee Wellness Awards program.