Hospitals exist to make people healthy.
But they shouldn’t stop at patients. Why not ensure hospital employees and visitors stay healthy, too?
A few years ago, a team at Children’s Hospital Colorado conducted an assessment of the hospital’s community. The team discovered that the hospital needed to do more to encourage employees, patients, and hospital visitors to lead healthy lifestyles.
To do this, the hospital launched a multifaceted campaign that aimed to encourage everyone at the hospital to lead a healthy lifestyle both at the hospital and at home. This campaign earned Children’s Hospital Colorado top honors in the Best Fitness or Health Campaign (Internal) category of Ragan’s 2013 Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.
The goals of the campaign were to improve access to healthy food, increase opportunities for physical activity, provide resources for emotional and spiritual health, and create a culture of employee wellness.
Step one was to tackle nutrition. Before the campaign, the hospital cafeteria and vending machines offered few healthy meals, snacks, and beverages. Within two months, the hospital launched an entirely new cafeteria menu that offered healthy options. The hospital also implemented a stoplight system to indicate how healthy—or unhealthy—the meals, beverages, and vending machine snacks in the hospital were.
Step two was to encourage physical activity. The hospital marked all the stairwells with friendly signs that asked, “Want to take the stairs?” The hospital also offered free access to the newly renovated campus gym, campus walking maps, and physical activities at employee events.
To support mental and emotional health, the hospital created a series of “how to talk to your kids” articles that taught parents how to explain current tragedies to their children. These articles focused on the Aurora Theater shooting, the Colorado wildfires, and other current events. The articles appeared on the hospital’s external website, newsletter, and social media channels.
To encourage general employee wellness, the hospital ran articles in the weekly employee newsletter on how to stay healthy during the holiday season.
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