The comprehensive school-site health promotion for staff is one of the eight components in the Coordinated School Health Program model. It is designed to maintain and improve the overall physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being of school staff and employees. By improving the overall health of employees and staff, their increased positive moral would, in turn, increase their personal commitment, as role models, to the health of students. Health promotion for staff includes programs that promote:
These programs encourage school staff and employees to pursue a healthy lifestyle that would contribute to their positive morale. These health promotion activities have improved staff and employee productivity, decreased absenteeism, and reduced the overall health insurance costs.
Research has shown:
In the book Health is Academic nine steps are outlined:
What do red hot chili peppers, chocolate peppermint smoothies, and cartoons have in common? They were all used as attention grabbers in a staff wellness program for three elementary schools in Scott County.
Joyce Ellis, a nurse working with the Family Resource Center, coordinated this wellness outreach program during the 1999-2000 school year. Joyce said she got the idea to focus on staff wellness after she had done cholesterol and diabetes screenings for the staff the year before. They were so appreciative of the "special care" they received Joyce wanted to do something more.
The staff wellness team choose to focus on three areas:
Ideas were brain stormed about the best time to connect with the school staffs. Both certified and classified staff were included in the event. The final decision - during lunch period. Notice was given to the staff by a brief presentation at a staff meeting, putting announcements in mailboxes, and reminders on the p.a. system. Educational handout material was gathered from agencies or produced by the team.
They prepared a colorful, creative table top display for each health topic using cardboard presentation boards. Tasty samples and door prizes were rounded up. Each topic was presented at each site 2-4 days depending on the size of the staff. The staff brought their lunch into the designated area and was able to spend time in small groups learning about each topic. The first month was devoted to breast and testicular cancer, the second month to osteoporosis, and the third to osteoporosis.
BREAST/TESTICULAR CANCER - breast and testicle models were bought from a grant that the team had received from participating in the KY Coordinated School Health Institute. Participants were instructed in how to do self exams and were given shower cards with instructions for breast exams on one side and testicular exams on the reverse side. Information on mammograms and risk factors was discussed. Drink and dessert were provided by the team. Video shown and personal health risk worksheets completed.
MENOPAUSE - a string of flashing red hot chili pepper lights were the attention grabbers for the menopause display. Managing Menopause Magazines, donated by a local ob/gyn doctor, were available for participants. Red hot candies were the finishing touch. Information on ERT and HRT was available. Video shown.
OSTEOPOROSIS - Samples of chocolate flavored calcium chews were provided. Participants sampled snacks that were high in calcium. Yogurt dip with veggies and chocolate-peppermint smoothies were served and a recipe book was also provided with several high calcium recipes. Video shown and personal health risk worksheet completed.
Participants were asked to fill out evaluations after the presentations and to suggest additional topics of interest. Comments included "It was very relaxing to sit and casually ask questions, in an informal setting" "I enjoyed the informal, small group atmosphere where I felt more comfortable to ask questions." Topics suggested for future events were skin cancer, nutrition, exercise, relaxation/stress , proper rest, blood pressure, and tobacco cessation.
Joyce says it is important to know the "personality" of your school as you plan a wellness outreach event. Make sure it is convenient, both time and place, for the staff. Make the learning environment pleasant. They put cloth table covers on the tables with fresh flowers. Utilize your community resources. Be creative and have FUN.
You may contact Joyce for more details at or 502-535-6611.
Are you doing a staff wellness program? Please share with us. E-mail your information to KASH at .
Maintained By M Jones Consulting. Last revised: 12/01.