Health workers urged to get healthy

| 04/04/2014

(CNS): The public health department will be launching a three month workplace wellness programme on Monday, World Health Day, to encourage its own workers at the Health Services Authority (HSA) to ‘Take the Challenge – Be Fit: Stay Healthy'. Each participant is required to keep personal goals which are monitored throughout the programme, as well as a follow-up check one year from now.  Given the role staff have at the HSA to help others keep well, Lizzette Yearwood, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Services Authority, said that wellness in the workplace at the hospital was very important.

“We strive to provide the best healthcare experience to our patients so it is important to encourage our staff take care of their physical and mental health as well,” she said. “Last year’s Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference theme was focused on the shared approach to workplace wellness, which is a reflection of how important employee wellness is on a day to day basis.”

Yearwood said there were plans to implement  many employee health initiatives as an outcome from that conference.

Dr Kiran Kumar, Medical Officer of Health, said he is looking forward to this year’s programme. 

“We offer this wellness programme to staff, as well as facilitating it to other government and private organisations and have been doing so since 2006.  This three month programme is designed to encourage staff to expand their outlook on wellness and encourage healthy living by eating well, increasing physical activity, reducing stress and building healthier self-esteem,” he added.

The programme offers a range of activities including educational lunch-and-learn sessions as well as group counselling sessions covering topics such as how to best manage stress.  It was open to all HSA staff through an open enrollment process and Therese Prehay, Health Promotion Officer, said the response from staff has been positive. 

“This programme is very intensive and is designed so participants are more inclined to live a healthy lifestyle even after the programme is completed with an ongoing yearlong maintenance component”, Ms Prehay said.  “At the start of the programme each participant has his or her measurements of waist, height, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and blood work to test cholesterol and blood glucose taken to document their starting point,” she said, adding that there would be prizes for various categories bringing an element of friendly competition to encourage employees.

For more information about this programme, contact Therese Prehay at the Public Health Department, 244-2632.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes, civil servants should strive to be healthier, but shouldn't all of us do that. I see overweight bank staff, telephone employees radio staff – every category of workers have some over-weights among. so many of you out there has such hatred for the civil servants. Would you enjoy it if others were constantly putting you down day after day the way you people do them?  Are you any better than them. ? Of course some of them might not work diligently but those type of workers can be found every where. The civil servants should go on an all island strike for a week, no doctors, no nurses, no post office workers,  no garbage collectors,  no  school personnel,  no policemen, no fire fighters, no body working for an entire week to show all of you ungratefuls  how much they do. Some of you people just need to stop being so hateful.  What has this community become anyway. Some of you really need to count your blessings and stop complaining  for awhile. Lizette kudos to you and your staff, hopefully other organisations will follow your lead.. Exercise and eating /living healthy can only be good for us all. Diseases has no favourites, we are all at risk but if we do just these three things we will reap the benefits.  Let us try to rid ourselves of all bad habits, i.e. smoking, drinking excess alcohol, excessive eating and above all keep our minds, our souls and spirits free of hatred, animosity,  jealously, cruelty, gossip and all the negative things that we allow to take over our lives and we will see a huge positive  pay off . Just do it!! 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bottomline- everyone in our society should be striving to be healthy. We are all examples for our children, neighbours, friends. All of society would benefit from a healthier population, mentally AND physcially. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Whilst in general it is a good idea for everyone to try and live and maintain a healthy life-style, no matter what their profession is, I must say that the response from some people on this blog completely explains why society is in such pathetic "shape" nowadays.

    I am a grown up and am responsible for my own choices. I don't need to have doctors and nurses set an example for me. When I go and see my doctor, it should be all about me and I am not interested in whether my doctor is fat or smokes because this is his/her choice and they will suffer the consequences accordingly. The attitude of "who are you to say" got us to where we are at. Clearly, by playing this card we only cheat ourselves! I explain this to my kids all the time. When I tell them to brush their teeth well, they are not doing me a favour, it is for their own good…………….

    The same rationale seems to be applied on a regular basis when it comes to the traffic laws. We can't follow them because some police officers don't follow them? What good has it done us to apply this line of thinking? When did we give up any sense of responsibility for ourselves and decided there was always a reason for putting blame on someone else?

    What I do agreewith is that Civil Servants outside a "healthy" BMI should cover a portion of their health insurance.

  4. Put The Donut Down And Step Away says:

    It should be a term of employment of all civil servants that they are not obese.  Why should the public pay for their gluttony and added medical costs?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I took some water back to the states for testing the local health dept freaked out I had to tell them where it was from

  6. Anonymous says:

    This should be the case for all health care practitioners. I have witnessed some 'prominent' doctors on this island drinking like it is going out of style while rolling in fat and behaving like complete lunatics.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Manditory drug testing of civil servants would be a start 

    That said the cocaine trips to the other island west of cayman would be out of his systems by monday

    It must be nice to fly for free on friday and return on monday calling it immigration business



    • Anonymous says:

      There already is mandatory drug testing, at least for HSA employees. I work at the GT hospital and I had to submit to a drug test when I applied for the job, when I got the job and in my contract it says that I can be asked to submit again with no reason at any time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Leave them alone if you only knew what they go thru daily you would light up too!

  9. Young Local Male says:

    If the civil servant contributed to their health insurance and you told them that the only way they would enjoy lower premiums is if they reached a healthy body mass index (BMI) by 'x' date, you would see slimmer, healthier, and more robust people walking around the place. 

    From the car, to the AC'd office, back to the car and the AC'd home, there is little activity in between. Hold them accountable by tieing the reward to monetary savings, because trust me, they will respond to the dollar more than a pep talk. Frankly the Caymanian culture on a whole just doesn't care enough about living a healthy lifestyle and it's very disheartening.

    Does this Be Fit program have metrics to calcuate whether it is successful or not? Three months and then what? Anyway, good luck with it.

    – Young Local Male.

  10. Anonymous says:



    Minister himself smokes, drinks and over weight ? wTf

    • Anonymous says:

      11:57  It is amazing how mischievous people like you are. I can tell you you Are a stranger to the truth, if you can say that the minister smokes.  Never did, never has and  never will.  Matter of fact, he stays far from smoke.  State the facts and not fiction, if you can.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It's surprising that they don't already have this in place. I've seen with my own eyes, doctors and nurses and hospital staff smoking on the premesis. What kind of example are they setting? There should be a policy against hospital personnel smoking because it condones the same behaviour that they are trying to prevent.