Carey recognized for employee health initiatives by American Heart Association

Carey recognized for employee health initiatives by American Heart Association

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from William Carey University.

A strong commitment to employee health and wellness has resulted in William Carey University being recognized as a Gold Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association.

The Fit-Friendly Worksite program recognizes employers who build a healthy work environment during a time when more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese.

Gold Level status recognizes Carey's fulfillment of several Fit-Friendly objectives, including involving employees in physical activity, increasing healthy eating options, promoting a wellness culture and adhering to a tobacco-free policy.

Carey President Dr. Tommy King established the university's health initiative in 2013 with the founding of an employee walking program at the Hattiesburg campus.

The program has also expanded to the Tradition campus in Biloxi. Through the program, which meets several times a week, employees have the benefit of working together to achieve wellness and the opportunity to win a weekend getaway twice a year.University employees also benefit from a weekly newsletter sent by Deanna Graves, the applications manager in the Carey admissions office and the coordinator of the walking program on the Hattiesburg campus.

The newsletter contains healthy living tips, wellness ideas and recipes for healthy food items. Healthy food options are also provided on a daily basis in the Carey cafeteria through food service provider MMI Dining Systems.Also assisting employees in wellness efforts are on-site fitness facilities.

The university has a walking track for employees to use as well as a fitness center on the Hattiesburg campus. The fitness center is equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment purchased through grant funds given by Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.

Heart association officials said Carey's efforts, combined with the efforts of more than 4,200 other Fit-Friendly employers across the nation, are helping to increase employee productivity while lowering health care costs, absenteeism, employee turnover and the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

For more information on the association's efforts and the Fit-Friendly Worksite program, visit www.heart.org/workplacewellness. For more information on Carey, visit www.wmcarey.edu.