Worksite wellness grants distributed by Prevention Alliance
SUMMIT COUNTY – To encourage local wellness practices -like better fitness and nutrition, the Summit Prevention Alliance recently awarded “worksite wellness mini-grants” to eight Summit County entities. Funding recipients include Red White & Blue Fire District, the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation, the Town of Dillon, the Town of Silverthorne, the Town of Breckenridge, Summit County Government, Colorado Mountain College and Summit School District.According to Summit Prevention Alliance coordinator Susan Westhof, a $200,000 LiveWell Colorado grant is providing this year’s work-place funding – the program through the Alliance is now in its third year. LiveWell Colorado is a state organization working to “inspire and advance policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that promote health through the prevention and reduction of obesity,” according to its website.”We want to encourage local worksites to create a culture of health in the workplace because that’s where people spend a majority of their time,” Westhof said. “We basically give them funding to be creative, but we provide them with some assistance and guidelines for best use of the funds that will really help change behaviors to increase physical activity and nutrition.”Silverthorne spokesman Ryan Hyland said the town used its 2009 wellness grant to supplement its existing wellness programs. “In 2009, we were able to provide employees one-on-one sessions with a registered dietician, sponsorships for employees participating in our recreation center’s fitness challenge, and the grant enabled us to provide personal health coaching for a larger group of employees,” Hyland said. “Plans for the 2010 grant are similar in nature.” A Health Promotion Management assessment for the Town of Dillon’s 2009 wellness program said its staff participants lowered their collective weight, upped their intake of fruits and vegetables, and become more active.Summit School District’s healthy workplace program includes a health assistance program, as well as discounts on recreation and classes.The Alliance also gave Copper Mountain Ski Resort $1,000 in January to use toward creating a breast-feeding space, $9,000 to Summit School District for school wellness programs, and each town received a mini-grant toward active community environment projects.Westhof, however, noted that this will be the last year of this particular grant for worksite wellness initiatives due to funding reductions. “Our hope is to create a sustainable effort (for the future),” she added.For more information about the Summit Prevention Alliance, visit http://www.summitpreventionalliance.org.To learn more about LiveWell Colorado, visit http://www.livewellcolorado.org.Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at email@example.com.
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