Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reaching Out to Families

I've been thinking about ways to involve the family members of our staff in our wellness program. I know that an individual's social network can have a profound impact on their health which is a point in a book I'm reading now, Connected. We dipped our toes in these waters when we conducted a smoking cessation program in 2007. We figured it would be extraordinarly difficult to quit smoking if you live with people that smoke, so we encouraged our staff to quit with their family members. Anecdotally, we know that some of our Biggest Loser program spilled over into the participants' families. Now I'm thinking about more formally involving families in our Biggest Mover campaign.

We're using the President's Challenge site to record activities. Participants will join the "ASHA Team" and a smaller workplace team modeled after our Biggest Loser team structure. I think I can also create an "ASHA Friends and Family Team" and encourage staff to involve their families. We have a rarely used ASHA Staff Facebook page, so I'm considering opening it up and using it to communicate health and wellness information. I plan to meet with our social media guru, Maggie McGary, tomorrow to talk about this.

Involving friends, family and community in workplace wellness was the topic of today's #co_health tweet chat. The participants generated enough ideas to lengthen my "to do" list considerably. You can use that link to review a recap and a transcript of the conversation when it's posted.

Please share your ideas for how we can involve the families of our staff in our wellness program.

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