The Miami Report

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Wellness initiative expands health programs

Miami is expanding the health and wellness program that it offers to employees with a wellness initiative intended to positively impact the health and well-being of Miami's faculty and staff, their families and retirees. Through a variety of programs - many still in development - the wellness initiative will promote personal development and healthy lifestyle change through evidence-based programs and activities.

Within the office of human resources, forums were held last year to see what staff and faculty were seeking in a wellness program, and human resource staff have investigated programs at other campuses and companies. Recently, Jay Kimiecik (physical education, health and sport studies) was named director of employee wellness in a half-time position.

Miami already offers some health-related programs through individual areas:

* PHS sponsors the 16-week Healthy Weight Management Program;

* the recreational sports center offers a discounted fee to benefits-eligible employees;

* the women's center sponsors a Women's Wellness Week in September;

* Scripps Gerontology provides an annual Green Tea Day offering a multidisciplinary perspective on healthy living;

* MyHealth@Anthem provides thousands of online articles and databases (anthem.com);

* Miami employees can access the Cigna Life Assistance Program, including 24-hour telephone access to crisis intervention and consultation with licensed behavioral health clinicians and an online resource library online or by calling 1-800-538-3543.

“We're trying to centralize existing wellness programs and let people know we're here for them,” said Kimiecik. “We want to make it easier to be healthy. It's hard to do on your own.”

The wellness initiative intends to promote health through both disease management (reducing risk factors) and holistic health (mind, body, spirit), in a cost-effective way.

The initiative will include regional and Oxford campuses and may involve partnerships in the community. Members of the wellness core team have met with representative groups on campus, surveyed benefits fair participants and plan to create an online survey to further develop goals and plans for the program. For more information, call the wellness initiative office at 9-0442.

The Cigna Life Assistance Program is available online at cignabehavioral.com/cgi.

Date Published: 11/03/2005
Volume: 25   Number: 14

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