PLATTSBURGH — A yearlong wellness-incentive program at Meadowbrook Healthcare has proven a success for the organization and its employees.
The incentive, called “Stairwellness 2012,” centered around the employees’ efforts to climb the facility’s five-story stairwell on a regular basis for a financial reward.
In all, Meadowbrook paid out $21,219 to 97 employees who climbed 376 miles of stairs.
“It’s been a very successful program,” said Meadowbrook Administrator Paul Richards. “It’s part of an overall wellness program designed to improve the overall health of our staff. If we take care of our employees, then they can take care of our patients and residents.”
The concept was relatively simple: Employees who participated received checks in July 2012 and January 2013 corresponding with how many miles of stairs they climbed during each half year.
“If you climb from the basement to the fifth floor twice per shift, you will climb 7 miles over the course of a year,” said Laurie Marvin, community-relations coordinator. “A total of 12 employees logged in enough trips to the roof to earn the full $350.”
Employees received $50 for every mile they climbed, with 84 employees receiving checks in July and 70 employees receiving another check in January.
Besides the 12 employees who reached the 7-mile plateau, 20 employees hiked 6 miles and 12 employees climbed 5 miles.
But the financial incentive was not the only reason employees bought into the program.
“I was pregnant when I first started,” said Sheena Cruise, who works in Medical Records and climbed the full 7 miles. “I’m not big into exercising, but I did not want to gain weight during my pregnancy.”
Crusie’s doctor approved the exercise program during her pregnancy, and she was able to climb almost to the due date of her baby, Boone, who was born on July 8.
After a three-month maternity leave, she returned to work and picked up on the stair climbing where she left off, doubling her trips each day to ensure she reached her 7-mile goal.