Nurse presents info on MRH wellness program

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By Peg Wunder

Deb Brekke, registered nurse and certified health and wellness coach, certified worksite wellness coordinator and cardiopulmonary rehab director, presented some insight into Mobridge Regional Hospital and Clinics Worksite Wellness Program when she spoke Monday at Rotary.
High blood pressure, diabetes and many other health problems have been on the rise in recent years.  Many companies have developed their own wellness programs to help combat these problems. Deb has been certified for several years and has been trained to work with businesses to improve the wellness of their employees. Each program is tailor-made to that business. A comprehensive ongoing Wellness Program will assist the employees and their families in achieving a healthier lifestyle. This program assists employees to be more aware of their current health care status and then to take an active role to maintain and/or to improve that status so they can lead healthier and more productive lives.
Deb does an on-site evaluation and performs a health risk assessment.  Labwork is done, as are body mass index calculations. Blood pressure checks are done and employees undergo a waist to hip ratio test.  She also provides health and safety education; offers incentive challenges and gives out posters to be put up in the workplace.  Some of the topics covered include nutrition, weight loss, exercise, stress reduction, cholesterol control, cooking/food preparation and disease prevention and management. Deb emphasized that the program is set up for each business so it may vary from business to business as to what a business needs/wants to focus on.
Setting up a wellness program in a business provides many benefits for that business.  Companies who have set up wellness programs have found that there is better retention of employees, improved employee morale, reduction in sick leave absenteeism; reduced workers’ compensation, improved productivity, and less organizational conflict.  Having such a program in place helps enhance the business “picture” and makes it more attractive to prospective employees.  Deb mentioned that Mobridge Regional Hospital has set up a wellness program with its employees.  She cited two different programs; one was a weight loss program with several unique incentives and the other was several groups competing to get people walking more.  The competition was to see which group walked the greater distance with everyone in each group wearing a pedometer.  She said that both programs worked well in that people competed as groups and they encouraged each other.
President Harley Overseth passed out some of the Rotary Track Meet medals that will be awarded at the Rotary Track Meet in April.  The medals have the Rotary emblem on one side.
Overseth also presented an ad for an inflatable Rotary emblem that could be used as a float in the parade.  This would be used instead of the float that is presently shared by the American Legion.  Storage of this standard float has become a problem.  Overseth said that this will be brought up at the next meeting and a decision will have to be made.
The fishing tournament was a great success and even though there was some excitement with a pickup going through the ice, there were no injuries and the fishermen enjoyed themselves.  One comment heard was that Mobridge knows how to throw a party.
Diane Hintz from the Golden LivingCenter sent a thank you note expressing their appreciation for the Angel Tree Project through which each resident in the Center received a gift. It is a joint endeavor by Rotary and several area churches.
Stan Mack was present to claim the 50/50 pot.  There will not be Rotary next Monday as it is Martin Luther King Day.  The next week, Jan. 28, Bill Zacher will have the program when Rotary meets at noon at the Moose Lodge.

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