HCHC Wellness Committee creating a healthier community, starting with hospital staff

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


The Henry County Health Center (HCHC) Wellness Committee believes that promoting wellness in Henry County starts with their employees. During the board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, a few members of the committee were invited to share the work they do around the hospital and be recognized by the board.

With the Next Step Challenge ending at the end of this week, Kelly Carr, Healthy Communities Coordinator, said that 82 people from Henry County participated this year. Although Healthy Henry Counties Committee didn?t promote the Next Step Challenge last year, only three participated in 2016.

The Next Step Challenge is a part of Live Healthy Iowa?s initiative to walking toward healthier communities. Teams record the number of steps they accumulate through a pedometer. This goes toward the Healthy Index, which is considered the overall health of a county.

This is just one of the initiatives promoted by the Wellness Committee. The committee also initiated a ?green, yellow, red? system in the HCHC cafeteria. Food labeled ?green? means go, it?s a healthy option. Food labeled ?yellow? means take it slowly, and food labeled ?red? is a no-go.

?Don?t look at my ?red? brownie,? one of the board members said, trying to cover up her plate of brownies as Lynn Humpherys, HCHC Human Resources Director, talked about the new ?green? food they were bringing into the cafeteria.

Elise Klopfenstein, clinical dietitian with HCHC, jumped in, ?We have brownies made with avocados if you come back (to the cafeteria) a different day,? she suggested.

On the Tuesday of the board meeting, the Wellness Committee had initiated zucchini noodles, or ?zoodles? into the HCHC cafeteria, which several of the board members had already tried and said were a good, healthy choice.

Zoodles are made by peeling zucchini and serving it as you would spaghetti noodles. This recipe is also being taught by Klopfenstein at The Fellowship Cup cooking classes.

Humpherys reminded the board that the Wellness Committee?s focus on the healthy lifestyle and interaction with the community extends beyond healthy food choices. The Wellness Committee is also looking into implementing a sharing library for hospital staff ? a place where people can exchange books on the premises for easy access to literature.

?This would be a great time of the year to implement that, going into winter,? Humpherys said.

In addition to The Wellness Committee presenting during the board of trustees meeting, it was briefly mentioned that there is an upcoming hospital inspection. This will be a surprise inspection.

The next board of trustees meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 14.