Greenwich Hospital declared ‘Fit-Friendly’ by American Heart Association

fit friendlyAll three Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) hospitals are now recognized as Gold-Level Fit-Friendly Worksites by the American Heart Association for encouraging employees to consume healthier foods and beverages and remain more physically active. Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals achieved the distinction this year, joining Yale-New Haven Hospital, which earned the recognition last year.

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at our hospitals and throughout our health system,” said Melissa Turner, senior vice president, Human Resources, for both Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals. “We are honored that all of our system hospitals are recognized as Gold Level Fit-Friendly Worksites. This affirms our commitment to providing the best workplace environment possible for our employees.”

Fit-Friendly worksites offer employees physical activity options such as walking trails and fitness classes, increase healthy eating options in their dining facilities, and promote a wellness culture in the workplace through onsite health screenings and employee assistance programs. The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change by helping worksites make their employees’ health and well-being a priority.

“Being designated Fit-Friendly worksites is an extension of what our hospitals do in the community,” said Lyn Salsgiver, YNHHS vice president, Strategy and Business Planning. “Bridgeport, Greenwich and Yale-New Haven hospitals are all members of Get Healthy Connecticut, a regional coalition of businesses and community organizations trying reduce obesity in Fairfield and New Haven counties by promoting healthy eating and exercise. Our employees are part of the community, so it only follows that we promote good health in the workplace.”

Salsgiver added that she hopes the Fit-Friendly designation will encourage other companies in the region to implement healthy practices and apply for Fit-Friendly status, which would have an even greater impact on the health of the community.

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) is Connecticut’s leading healthcare system. YNHHS was formed in 1996 to enhance the quality and scope of healthcare services for residents of Connecticut and beyond. YNHHS includes three delivery networks: Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital, and a physician foundation, Northeast Medical Group. YNHHS has clinical relationships with several other hospitals in Connecticut and numerous outpatient locations throughout the state. YNHHS is affiliated with Yale University in support of patient care, medical education and clinical research.

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