Cottage Health System Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cottage Health System has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more. Cottage has earned the Platinum award each year since 2009.
“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Cottage, and we are committed to providing the best workplace environment possible,” said Patrice Ryan, Vice President of Human Resources at Cottage Health System. “We are honored to receive the Platinum award for the sixth year.”
Platinum-level award, employers must exhibit the following:
- Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
- Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
- Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
- Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
- Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.
Here are a few ways Cottage encourages employees to eat better and move more:
- Weekly Farmers Market at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital offering fresh, organic, locally grown produce
- Access to onsite fitness center for low fee
- Online Wellness Portal creates personalized health assessments that highlight health risks and offer education to improve health
- Option to participate in six-month health improvement program paid for by Cottage
- Outside fitness programs/activities reimbursed under the Wellness Benefit plan
American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising, according to the American Heart Association (www.heart.org). Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone.
About Cottage Health System
The not-for-profit Cottage Health System -- the parent organization of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and its associated Cottage Children’s Hospital and Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital -- is guided by a volunteer board of directors from the greater Santa Barbara community. Last year, the Cottage hospitals provided inpatient care for 20,000 people, treated 69,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,300 newborns.