Sunday May 1st, 2016 7:49AM

GHCC Most Fit Company Awards

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - As part of the VISION 2030 HealthSmart Community Challenge, the Greater Hall Chamber Wednesday announced the 2011 Most Fit Company Awards at the HealthSmart Breakfast at the Georgia Mountains Center.

Judging criteria for the contest included wellness, nutrition and fitness opportunities provided for employees. The award is presented in three categories: Large companies (251+ employees), medium (51-250) and small (50 or less).

*Small category (50 or less) - Electronic Sales

Electronic Sales employs 25 people, selling and installing security systems for residential and commercial properties. The company's Weight-Loss Program is employee based, and what started as an idea between coworkers is now a company-wide involvement program that has become life changing for its participants.

A group of employees were discouraged with their weight and decided to throw $10 per person into a pot and at the end of the month, whoever lost the most weight won the pot. Counte Cooley overheard the plan and "upped the annie." The program has brought the team closer together through support and encouragement of one another and has also allowed each individual to show their competitive side! Owners, Counte and Jackie Cooley also offer a free annual membership to the First Baptist Church-Family Life Center for employees participating in the program. The current overall winner has lost 17.4 lbs at 9.01% of body weight. The company as a whole has lost 96.8 lbs. That's an average of 10 lbs per person in a 10 week period.

*Medium category (51-250) - Harris Products

Harris Calorific has operated in Gainesville for over 30 years, manufacturing gas welding and cutting equipment, industrial and specialty gas regulation equipment, and gas distribution systems. The industry employs 130 full-time employees and 15-20 temporary employees.

A prohibition on smoking and tobacco use on campus was implemented by company President, Dave Nangle, in 2008, and safety programs include regular training, a Safety Team of first-aid certified employees in each department, regular CPR training, an AED on site in the First Aid Room, and a focus on safety along with ergonomic studies and improvements to prevent injuries.

The company provides a reimbursement program for fitness center participation, and in partnership with their medical plan provider, provides biometric screening and health assessments with follow-up health coaching. The company is providing an incentive of reduced medical plan premiums for participants who complete both the biometric screening and the health assessment.

A Weight Loss Challenge and a Walk for Wellness Program is now in place with the motto, "Motivation, Perspiration, Celebration!" The focus on wellness is promoted by the parent company, Lincoln Electric.

*Large category (251+ employees) - Northeast Georgia Health System

Northeast Georgia Health System (Northeast Georgia Medical Center, et al) offers an employee wellness program with:

- Free annual health screenings for all employees including fasting blood sugar and lipid profile

- Health insurance premium discounts for employees who do not use nicotine products

- Health management programs for employees with diabetes and hypertension, which includes free medications for these conditions through the Health System's Employee Pharmacy

- An employee portal website where employees can securely enter their health information to track their healthy progress and find easy access to the Health System's wellness services

- Periodic wellness programs, with prize giveaways

- An Employee Assistance program staffed by licensed counselors who provide free confidential counseling for employees and immediate family members

Led by volunteer boards made up of community leaders, the 557-inpatient, 261-skilled nursing bed health system serves almost 700,000 people in more than 13 counties across Northeast Georgia.
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