Picente: “Get Moving” Employee Wellness Pilot Program Underway

County Executive On Hand for ‘Kickoff’ Event
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. was joined by about seventy Oneida and Herkimer County employees taking part in the ‘Get Moving’ health initiative born out of the 2009-2010 Regional Health Summit and first announced by Picente last November.

An employee pilot project, which is part of the campaign designed to combat obesity and improve health outcomes among Oneida and Herkimer County residents by promoting physical exercise and encouraging proper nutrition, got underway today at the Function Better Fitness center, a co-sponsor of the program.

“The recent county health rankings published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation underline the need for public health intervention in addressing obesity, sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition in rural counties like ours,” Picente said. He added, “the Get Moving Employee Wellness Pilot Initiative has been designed by the program’s sponsors to facilitate healthy worksite behaviors and incorporate some of the most effective interventions in combating obesity, including better dietary choices, regular exercise and effective stress management.”
 
Those participating in the employee pilot project receive a complimentary 3-month gym membership and customized monthly group sessions at Function Better Fitness centers in Yorkville and Herkimer, health and wellness informational materials, bi-weekly coaching and expert speaker sessions. Each participant has been invited to select a family member or friend to serve as a “motivator” who will support their goals and who are invited to participate in the program activites. Participants will also have a web and social media page to access support from coaches and other participants. 
 
Upon registration, participants underwent an individual assessment to establish baseline health markers including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood sugar, chlesterol and triglyceride levels all of which will be re-tested at the end of the program. All testing, coaching and gym memberships have been donated by the program sponsors which include Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare, Herkimer County HealthNet, Rome Memorial Hospital, Oneida and Herkimer Counties and their health departments, as well as Funtion Better Fitness centers.       
 
Herkimer County Administrator James Wallace joined with Picente in thanking the sponsors for their generous support and expressed his hopes that this project will serve to provide opportunities for future initiatives throughout the community.
 

“This initiative is not merely a weight loss competition, but rather an incentive to make permanentl lifestyle changes resulting in a reduction of risk factors for those taking part; hopefully friends and family members will be influenced to incorporate similar healthy behaviors as part of their lifestyles, all of which will lead to a healthier community,” Wallace said.