Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) has a long history of providing communication and wellness programs for their staff and students to improve their health and lifestyle choices. Focusing on proper nutrition, regular exercise, screenings and regular preventive care has helped them post some of the lowest costs for health care among all Arizona school districts.
The CUSD Wellness Expo was held on October 16, 2012 and was a resounding success. Cathy Giza, Director of Food & Nutrition for CUSD, along with her wellness team designed a well-organized even. In conjunction with their membership in the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) they were able to provide representatives from many different employee benefit organizations, perform screenings and provide instruction on wellness. The event was held in the cafeteria of one of the CUSD campuses to prevent extra costs.
The following are some of the services and presenters at the CUSD Wellness Expo:
- Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) – Providing information on the Wellstyles Program and PREP Program (both currently utilized by Chandler USD);
- The Kidney Trust – Performed over 178 Screenings for early kidney disease detection;
- United Healthcare (UHC) provided diabetes screening (A1-C testing) thru their DCPA program;
- Delta Dental provided information on dental hygiene, maintenance and coverage;
- VSP (Vision Service Plan) provided information on proper vision care and coverage;
- Walgreens – Flu vaccines;
- Abundant Health Chiropractic provided stress relief exercises and instruction on proper posture and alignment;
- Cholesterol Checks;
- Blood Pressure checks;
- B-12 Shots;
- Solis Women’s Health, provided informatin on breast cancer screenings;
- Sarabelle the Tooth Fairy from Delta Dental Foundation appeared to stress good dental hygiene;
- The Dairy Council;
- Mobile On-site Mammography Unit (MOM);
- Visiting Angels;
- The Trust, which provides information on workers’ compensation issues;
- Dental One provided information on dental coverage’
- The Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) was on hand to answer questions for those nearing the transition from the workforce to retirement;
- Yummy Food provided nutritional advice on healthy eating;
- Lifestyle Chiropractic provided information on proper back, spine and muscle care; and
- The Office of Tobacco and Chronic Disease provided information on health risks from unhealthy lifestyles.
A computer lab was available for attendees to take the UHC Health Risk Assessment. This handy and confidential tool provides people with the opportunity to identify areas for improvement in their health and living choices and to remind them of any screenings or tests that they are due to receive.
A variety of classes during the event included; food and nutrition, healthy relationships, reducing stress, Zumba, Yoga, financial planning, and retirement planning. Keynote speakers included UHC’s Cheyenne Autumn, a wellness expert who spoke about “The Value of Laughter.”
Dr. Michelle May presented “Mindful Eating”. Dr. May is the author of “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle.‘ You can learn more at www.AmIHungry.com and download Chapter 1 of her book free at: www.AmIHungry.com/eat-what-you-love-book.shtml.
Chandler USD Food Service demonstrated how to build your own parfait yogurt bar, as well as provided wheat pizza, turkey burgers, a variety of soups, muffins, fruits, salad bar, coffee and water. Their team of trained nutritionists showed which foods employees can eat that are satisfying, tasty, and yet healthier than regular choices that are often made.
Darlene Kracht, Account Manager at VSEBT, said, “Once again CUSD has demonstrated their commitment to the health and wellness of their employees. This commitment has certainly paid dividends in lower health care costs over time, and in healthier, happier employees.”