Original Date: 01/26/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2003
Information : Wellness Program
Prior to January 1997, the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) Wellness Program did not exist. Personnel in the Counseling Center began to recognize the need for a Wellness Program due to such issues as the aging workforce and the high number of back and leg injuries. The Counseling Center administered programs such as drug testing and employee assistance. Most employees stayed away from the center due to the negative connotation associated with its programs. But Center personnel recognized the need to provide assistance to a greater percentage of CCAD personnel, and began to research how to implement a wellness program. Research showed that most of the activity in developing effective wellness programs was being accomplished in private industry. CCAD benchmarked effective work site wellness programs in industry, studied the benefits of work site wellness, and examined the range of things the Depot could do within regulatory guidelines.
In November 1996, command approval was given to implement a wellness program. The objective of the program was to provide employees with the opportunity to develop mentally and physically to meet new challenges and make responsible choices toward a balanced, healthy lifestyle. This objective also served the overall business objective of providing management with a workforce composed of productive, healthy people.
In January 1997, the Counseling Center changed its name to the Wellness Center. The name change alone made a big difference in the interest in the programs provided by the Center. The Center began focusing on a number of positive programs to improve the lifestyle and well being of the CCAD workforce. Programs included working with the local health clubs to obtain corporate rates for CCAD personnel. The Center contracted with a local hospital to conduct a heart risk study in February, April, and July 1997. Nearly half of the employees at the Depot voluntarily participated in the study. The study showed high percentages of conditions that placed employees at risk for heart disease such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. More than 85% of employees participating in the study were above their ideal weight. As a result of this study, new initiatives such as smoking cessation classes and weight management programs were implemented. Voluntary drug testing was implemented and received broad employee support. Other programs included a walking program with progress charts for each participant and certificates of achievement. Stress management classes were offered as well as family assistance programs that were expanded to include other family members.
Each month, the Wellness Program develops a theme such as nutrition, alcohol awareness, safety, and breast cancer that helps focus attention on important topics. The Center provides videos and classes on these themes and has been receiving high levels of response and interest in the programs. These themes are coordinated with the Safety Office to complement monthly safety themes.
Since establishing the Wellness Program, the Depot has seen improvements in morale, employee energy, creativity, productivity, and health. Fatigue, absenteeism, injuries, medical costs, and workers compensation have been reduced. Metrics are being developed and used in all these areas. A new heart risk study is scheduled to follow-up and compare data from the previous studies, and monthly classes are being continued in stress management, smoking cessation, and weight management. Evaluation criteria for the program has been developed to measure issues such as absenteeism, tardiness, injuries, medical costs, and workers compensation costs.
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