Swain County employees lose total of 149 pounds and improve health in program customized by Swain Community Hospital

July 19, 2017

BRYSON CITY, N.C. – Swain Community Hospital recently partnered with Swain County employees to design a wellness program aimed at improved physical health. County departments engaged in friendly competition throughout the six-month program with the Swain County Health Department achieving the top scores in weight loss, improved cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart score. A heart score is used to assess heart health based on diet, exercise, blood pressure control, and other lifestyle factors.

A pre-program assessment was performed in January and a post-program assessment was performed in June to determine the county department with the employees making the most progress. Employees received points for various healthy activities. Employees lost a collective total of 149 pounds.

“It is so rewarding to see results for our county employees through this program but it is even more exciting to watch the teams come together and provide support and encouragement for each other along the way,” said Trish Hipgrave, RDN and public health educator for the Swain County Health Department.

The health department team included 12 members with a collective weight loss of 59 pounds. Nine members improved cholesterol, 10 improved blood pressure, and seven achieved an improved heart score.

The county administration team included eight members with two experiencing improved cholesterol, five with improved blood pressure, and six achieving an improved heart score.

The team from the Department of Social Services (DSS) had the most members with 22 and a collective weight loss of 90 pounds. Eleven had improved cholesterol, 14 achieved improved blood pressure, and 12 had an improved heart score.

April Goodwin with DSS was the overall top point winner in the program with 3,076 points followed by Sonia Monteith from DSS and Samantha Blanchard from the health department. The ‘Veggie Award’ went to the most-well-rounded individual out of the most-improved pool. Sheila

 Sutton from DSS was the winner followed by Suzanne Smith from the health department as runner-up.

The county program was modeled after programs the hospital has designed for Swain County Schools and local employers over the last several years and focuses on key body metrics that contribute to overall better health.

“By working with our community partners in these unique, customized ways we can deliver on our hospitals’ mission of making communities healthier. The wellness programs we have launched within our local schools, county offices, and employers bring us together to create benefits that extend far beyond these impressive individual accomplishments,” said Steve Heatherly, CEO of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital.

The program concluded with a healthy lunch provided by Swain Community Hospital for all participants. Chef Brandon Cope with the hospital created the menu which was served on the hospital’s patio last month.

The next phase of the program with Swain County employees began July 1 and ends in June 2018 and includes 52 employees.

Swain Community Hospital partners throughout the year with the Swain County Health Department on the top community health priorities identified in 2015 through the community health needs assessment performed every three years. The current priorities are heart disease, stroke and diabetes prevention, reducing substance abuse, and promoting a healthy environment. 

For information visit: http://www.myswaincommunity.com/for-patients-and-visitors/community-health-needs-assessment