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The Y Leads by Example in the CEO Culture of Health Initiative

The YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South is one of our newest CEO Culture of Health participants, having just joined in 2015. Believe it or not, they have already met the requirements for the Small Starts @ Work program and are officially a Healthier Tennessee Workplace!

Now you may be saying to yourself, “Well, it was easy for them, they are in the business of helping people get and stay healthy.” Cleo Griffin, Corporate Relationship Director for The Y, will quickly tell you that it is not easy, even for them. "The most responsible action was for us to offer our employees free Y membership so they can also take advantage of the programming we offer to help lead a healthier life. Thereafter, we had to be intentional about the behaviors that influence a culture of promoting the health of our team members”.  

Some of the other steps the Y has taken include: 

Offering free biometric screening through their health insurance benefits; 

Providing the Diabetes Prevention Program as a covered benefit under their staff health insurance plan;  

Giving a healthy tip at the beginning of team meetings; 

 Adopting water as the exclusive beverage offered to staff; 

 Changing their vending machine options; and 

Giving employees a health-related item when they exercise at least 12 times a month.   

A theme that runs through the Y’s approach to both employee health and wellness, and in their work to promote and support the health of Memphians, is removing barriers that stand in the way of people living healthier lives. Cost is often a significant barrier and by offering free Y memberships to their employees this barrier is removed.   The Y also works with businesses across the region to make this same benefit available to their employees by offering packages to employers who help subsidize the cost of Y membership for their employees. But even if the employer doesn’t subsidize membership, employee membership rates are based on their annual household income, making the Y financially accessible to lower wage earners. 

Other barriers the Y works to remove include:   

Convenience: There are 9 locations throughout the Mid-South; 

Child Care: The Y offers free child watch while employees workout; and  

Time: Ys are open early in the morning until late at night.    

But the Y is not just about working out and exercising. Other programs businesses may be interested in include the Diabetes Prevention Program, the Corporate Games, and for a small fee they can come to your worksite to present health topics for your employees.   For more information on the Y and ways in which they can support your employee health and wellness programs, click here.

Posted by Cristie Travis at 1:27 PM

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