A new wellness program implemented at Metroplex Health System in early June encourages employees and their families to make smarter food selections and live healthier lifestyles.
The program, CREATION Health, follows God’s eight principles for living life to the fullest, a goal shared by Adventist hospitals for many years, said Latoya Ellis, Metroplex wellness coordinator.
“It was developed in Florida at mission development and they passed it down to the rest of the Adventist hospitals,” she said.
Pati Gonzalez-Thomas, public relations specialist, said the program promotes the theology of the Adventist hospital system and focuses on the eight essentials of health: choice, rest, environment, activity, trust, interpersonal, outlook and nutrition.
“And that’s through healthy living making sure you take care of yourself, that you are well, exercise, get rest and the environment is pleasant.”
In a place like Metroplex that cares for the health and well-being of hundreds of patients, health care focuses on preventive medicine, Gonzales-Thomas said. So promoting healthy lifestyles is especially important.
“We feel as a community resource Metroplex wanted to take the first step to get the community healthier and that will also help reduce the health care cost.”
Lacey Brown, transcription manager and CREATION Health coach, is among the employees who have taken advantage of the program.
Sitting on a yoga ball behind her desk not long after the program was launched, she pointed out the colorful butterflies and photos of outdoor scenery decorating her windowless office.
“We try to come up with fun things to do,” she said. “We are going throughout the departments and making our environment healthier for us so we can feel good when we are in here.”
The uplifting decorations made her office atmosphere feel less cluttered and made her happy and ready to work, Brown said.
Her co-worker, Jeannie Snook, agreed.
“It seems more fresh and open, and it doesn’t make you feel as fatigued,” Snook said. “We see people have more pride in their environment and work space and having more interest in other people’s lives and how they can be of help in terms of doing their job.”
Another program initiative encourages the staff to take frequent breaks, Gonzalez-Thomas said, and the hospital kitchen now serves vegetarian options.
“We do have the opportunity to get away from work and get caught up on our rest,” she said. “For events within the hospital, we are also serving healthy food and hardly any cakes or cookies and all the little things we used to love … now it’s fruits, nuts and water.”
The program has hospital staff spreading encouraging messages to one another as well as to patients and visitors.
“When you work here you have to put your personal life at home to help other people,” said Shemirell Robles, echocardigrapher. “It truly builds up a better community.”