Two Shelby County Agencies Chosen For National Health Program

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(Memphis) At the Fogelman YMCA on Madison Avenue, it's another step on a treadmill, and another pedal on the stationary bike. A little sweat equity is a way of life here to help build a healthy spirit, mind and body of members and employees.

Pete Shattuck is the executive director at Fogelman.

"Employee wellness is one of the key initiatives of the YMCA for our employees, as well as employes from other companies," Shattuck said.

The YMCA of Memphis in the Mid-South is one of nine Shelby County companies selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC to participate in the National Healthy Worksite program.

"With the support of the CDC, we are focusing on more nutrition, counseling and there is a smoking cessation aspect, but the overall wellness will be enhanced through the CDC grant beyond just physical exercise," Shattuck said.

The CDC program is even more far-reaching. It also selected the Shelby County Health Department and the County Division of Corrections to work towards increasing wellness of its employees.

James E. Coleman is the director of the Divisions of Corrections.

"I think we are ready, but change is hard, but we're doing it in a way to make it healthy and to make it fun," Coleman said.

The National Healthy Worksite program will work with the companies and two agencies to encourage and support physical activity, good nutrition and tobacco-use cessation of its workers.

"We spend a lot of time trying to keep inmates well and spend a lot of money, the taxpayers, but we want our employes to be well so that when they retire they'll can do it in a healthy way," Coleman said.

It's a program that could lead to a more healthy Shelby County.