May 14th, 2019
GC earns 'Wellness at Work' distinction
College to be honored June 7th by Maryland's Department of Health
Garrett College has been recognized as a Healthiest Maryland Businesses Wellness at Work Award Winner.
The college, recognized at the Silver Award level, will be honored at the 10th annual Worksite Health and Wellness Symposium on June 7th at Martin's West. The Maryland Department of Health sponsors the annual recognition to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy workforce and to publicly recognize employers' commitment and successes.
"I think this is a testament to the efforts we're making to provide a wellness-centered workplace," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president. "Janis Bush's leadership as director of human resources, Benjamin Morris' contributions as our wellbeing coordinator, and the efforts of our Wellbeing Committee have included a focus on wellness and an emphasis on partnering with other organizations, such as the Garrett County Health Department, that can help us create a wellness culture."
Bush said the college "takes a team approach to our wellbeing program."
"Through employee surveys, we design programs that would be most meaningful to them," said Bush. "Through our Wellbeing Committee and wellbeing coordinator, we provide staff 'lunch-and-learn' opportunities. Recent programs have included financial workshops, healthy habits challenges, and dietary programs."
Morris said the college's well-being initiatives are intentional and directed.
"The college develops an annual strategic wellbeing plan that's essentially a road map," said Morris, who indicated the strategic plan incorporates aggregate data from a variety of sources to create a data-driven plan. "It outlines all events, communications and resource channels that focus on the mission of the Garrett College Wellbeing Program."
Midcap noted that the college's programming through the Community Aquatic and Recreation Center – including hot- and cold-water pools, fitness center, and activities classes – offers reduced-rate memberships to employees and their families as a critical component of the college's wellness initiatives. The college also contracts with Deer Oaks Employee Assistance Program Services to address other employee well-being needs, including reducing work-place stress and increasing employee engagement.
Bush, meanwhile, emphasized that wellbeing "is so much more than just our physical health."
"We recently initiated Operation Kindness with the staff. Our next step is to engage our students in the program as well," said Bush, who has been the college's director of human resources since 2017.
Morris said management support and employee buy-in "are two key components that played a vital role in the college receiving the Silver award."
"There are an increasing number of employees who are very active and supportive of the wellbeing initiatives," said Morris. "Employee buy-in truly defines the success of a wellbeing program, and Garrett College has it."