The Biggest Winner

The Employee Health Services Division of Human Resources recently teamed up with the Sheriff’s Office for an 11-week weight loss challenge as a fun and different way to promote employee wellness. The challenge, titled “Beat Your Majors,” encouraged healthy eating, exercise and weight loss. The participants were enticed to participate by earning the chance to be called ” The Biggest Loser.” The “cash pot” (a sum of all participants five-dollar fee) was additionally awarded to the team losing the most weight. A prize was also awarded to the individual that exercised the most minutes and to the individual who lost the most weight.

To add a little rivalry to the challenge, Jail East competed against Jail West. Major Sandra Johnson led the Jail East team against her fierce competitor Major Ann Felton, leading the team at Jail West. The participants were placed into groups based on platoons and the divisions in which they are assigned, had their weight recorded and their blood pressure checked.

Participants received weekly emails about healthy eating, healthy snack ideas and meal options, along with education on hypertension and diabetes prevention. Participants were also offered one-on-one counseling sessions if they desired additional information to help create a healthy lifestyle.

At week six, participants were weighed, and their blood pressures were checked again. At this point, the competition was heating up and friendly bantering was in full effect. The results between Jail East and Jail West were neck and neck, and many participants saw positive weight loss and improved blood pressure readings.

November 15th marked the final weigh-in day. Eleven weeks of hard work, eating right, and exercise culminated with one quick step on the scales and one last blood pressure reading. The results were impressive! The Henrico County Sheriff’s Department rocked the “Beat Your Majors” weight loss challenge!

Jail East took home the title for the percentage of most weight lost by a team with a whopping 15.4% of overall body mass. A Jail East participant also took home the title of Biggest Loser with a weight loss of 40 pounds. A Jail West participant raced into first place for most minutes exercised with 2186 minutes. This translates into almost 200 minutes a week! It was a great effort by the members of the Henrico County Sheriff’s department who participated in the challenge, and a stellar effort by their team leaders, Major Johnson and Major Felton!

Following a healthy diet, losing excess weight, and regular exercise are well-documented ways to improve blood pressure and lower risk of developing diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Not only did many participants watch pounds drop off, they were given opportunities to help create healthy lifestyle changes. Additionally, participants with elevated blood pressure readings were counseled on ways to help lower blood pressure, and some were referred to their primary care physician for treatment.

This competition is just one example of Power Henrico in action! Henrico County is committed to empowering our employees to be well. Employee Health Services (EHS) is available to help your department create a weight loss challenge and/or provide education on health-related topics. Contact us at 501-1600 and see how we can help you have a healthier 2019!

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Black History: Events at HCPL

Henrico honors and celebrates the rich history and diversity of our community throughout the year in many ways, through special programs, educational events, food festivals, and music. February is Black History Month and this significant commemoration is important in Henrico. Our libraries are a wonderful resource as we look back and honor our past and come together as a community in the present.

Originally designated as “Negro History week” during the consecutive birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb 14), the month of February is now nationally and internationally known as Black History Month. This spotlight into our past serves as a reminder of how we have grown as a culture and aligns with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 2019 theme, Black Migrations, which “emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.”

Henrico honors this history and shares some of these stories with the community through multiple programs at our libraries. As part of their mission, Henrico County Public Libraries has “…connected people with the information they need…enriching community life” through their vibrant library programs, classes and events – and they do this throughout the County in honor of Black History Month. Through partnerships with local organizations such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, they offer programs for Black History Month, and year-round, that connect the community with history and with each other.

There are many things that are commonly known about black history. There is the Civil Rights Movement. There are conductors. There’s the Underground Railroad, and then there is mail. At Twin Hickory Library, you can learn how a Richmond slave mailed himself to freedom, and eventually assisted abolitionists by performing across the globe. The program, called “Henry Box Brown: Famous Fugitive, Trans-Atlantic Performer,” is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is supported in part by the Paul Mellon Endowment and the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund. Jeffrey Ruggles, a local historian and author, is the presenter for this event, which will take place on February 12 at 6:30pm in Twin Hickory Area Library’s meeting room. The event is open to the public and there is no charge!

Theodora Drozdowski, Adult Services Supervisor at Twin Hickory Library, said it best regarding Black History Month, “You become a more empathetic person by listening to other people’s stories, because history is made up of people and their stories.” On Twin Hickory’s events: “You get an opportunity to hear people in your community who are passionate about their subjects, and when you witness those passions, it comes alive for you as well.” Displaying empathy and actively engaging with the community is part of The Henrico Way, and what better way to learn about our history than through hearing stories from our citizens.

Fairfield Library will host writing workshops in February for both adults and teens. The adult workshop, called “Recomposing the Greatest Works of Black History: A Writing Workshop,” will be held on Thursdays, February 7, 14, and 21 at 7:00 p.m. and be facilitated by Paula Gillison, of PGArtistry RVA.

“We want to create this sense of community for people and offer programs that are inclusive and reflective of personal interests,” said Amanda Sullivan, Teen Librarian at Fairfield Library. “We want to be a resource for people to better their lives.” In commemoration of Black History month, this writing workshop event will consist of reading and examining famous poems, then creating your own version in the same style. Registration is required in order to attend this workshop, so sign up now.

In tandem with this workshop, teens can participate in a two-part program lead by poetry slam competition winner Roscoe Burnems, founder of the Writer’s Den RVA. This event will take place on February 7 and 21 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. In this workshop, teens will learn how to create poems and will be given the chance to showcase them in front of an audience. Registration is not required to attend this workshop.

To get involved with these and other great events, click here to see what else is going on at HCPL and events sponsored by Recreation and Parks.

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Power Up your Health (and your wallet)!

Begin or continue your Health Trip journey with an annual health screening, February – May 2019.

The focus of Power Henrico is the County’s commitment to the health and wellness of its employees. This commitment continues with the annual Biometric Screening and Personal Health Assessment. In partnership with HCA Virginia Workplace Wellness, Henrico County is offering permanent employees an opportunity to complete an onsite biometric screening and the on-line personal health assessment. Participants will receive an individually tailored personal wellness program designed around their own unique health needs and a financial incentive in their May 31st paycheck.

This annual biometric screening is an important and effective way to keep track of your personal health. It is a great way to gain awareness and understanding of your own health and ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle. The biometric screening along with the on-line personal health assessment can help to identify any future health risks and behavior changes you can make to minimize these risks. It flags areas of concern of which you may not have otherwise been mindful of and provides an opportunity for follow-up action with myriad County services if deemed necessary or desired including EHS, Fitness and Wellness, and others.

The Biometric Screenings are delivered by professional nursing staff who will gather your basic details, such as health, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure. They will then administer a finger stick to assess your current cholesterol and blood glucose (sugar) levels. The nursing staff will privately discuss your lifestyle choices with you, such as your daily activity levels, whether you smoke, and your dietary habits. This annual biometric screening does not only check your health statistics – it provides a valuable opportunity to talk to a health care professional in detail about any issues you may have, such as existing conditions, general questions or concerns.

During your biometric screening appointment, you will have time to complete the on-line personal health assessment and review your wellness report results. This is very useful as often waiting for results from a doctor’s office can be frustrating and lengthy. If you do not understand anything about your wellness report, you can ask questions directly. You will also be provided with the results of your biometric screening, so you have a record of your assessment.

To schedule your biometric screening appointment, visit the Power Henrico website. You will find the information right on the homepage! Look for the on-line registration link to schedule your appointment.

Any questions, concerns or comments should be directed to Liz Stovall at 501-7556, or by email at mailto:[email protected].

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