Edgerton Hospital to lead the way’ in health initiative
The hospital has received a $5,000 planning grant from the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health to create a community health initiative.
The hospital will spend a few months surveying local businesses about their needs and wants for a wellness program, said Angie Sullivan, community education coordinator for the hospital.
“A lot of what we’ll be doing that first year is really educating the community on how to do some things and how to get the most bang for your buck for employee wellness,” Sullivan said.
The hospital then can create a plan and apply for a $20,000 implementation grant in summer.
The plan could resemble the hospital’s wellness program on a larger scale, Sullivan said.
Edgerton Hospital conducts health screening of its employees every year and uses the composite data to plan its wellness programs. It offers walking groups, lunchtime seminars and incentive programs to keep employees healthy.
The program looks at mental as well as physical health, Sullivan said.
Wellness programs are becoming more popular among businesses, said Sara Karman, owner of Sara’s Health and Fitness in Edgerton. She’s hoping to offer programs for businesses in 2010 and plans to work with the coalition in forming the health initiative.
Healthy workers tend to have better attitudes and be more productive, Karman and Sullivan said.
And, if businesses can help prevent health problems in employees, it stands to reason they will pay less in catastrophic health claims such as heart attacks, Sullivan said.
The hospital plans to kick off the initiative at a breakfast in January featuring Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton. Details still are being finalized, Sullivan said.
Jay Peterson, a local chiropractor and member of the Edgerton Hospital board, said the program fits perfectly with the hospital’s efforts to create a “healthy village.”
“It’s a more well-rounded program that doesn’t just focus on traditional western medicine,” he said. “I think Edgerton is trying to lead the way as far as small hospitals go.”