One of the greatest things supervisors can do for employees is support their wellness. For Lee Ann Wacholz, Supervisor in Renal Studies Unit— a Kidney Function Testing Area at Mayo Clinic, leading by example is what drives her and Wellness Champion, Ashley Adams, to help others on their quest for wellness. “Knowing that your actions are helping other people better their lives is a really great feeling,” says Adams. “We have a really great, creative group of employees here that make the job fun. They are open to trying new activities and very supportive of one another.”
Wacholz adds, “We want to engage our staff in healthy activities as a unit to encourage camaraderie and a healthier life style. This will carry over to the care we provide our patients. One cannot care for another person beyond the level they, themselves, are feeling at any given moment.” Three things that they have found to be beneficial in reaching the work group: humor, bi-monthly newsletter and leadership support—these help create new ideas and ways to help staff actively make healthy choices. In the unit Newsletter, titled “Urine the KNOW,” Ashley has a section called, “Wellness Champions” where she provides information on wellness events, healthy eating and exercise tips, recipes, YouTube exercise videos, and information that is sent out from the DAHLC. Her 2015 January weight loss challenge was so popular, that her unit requested that it be repeated for 2016 because of the positive outcomes that were achieved last year. “ Staff have said that healthier choices are more easily made when fellow staff members can help to keep them on track,” noted Adams.
What’s great about their collaboration is that they lead their unit in wellness and community outreach. Last Christmas, they held a craft and bake sale to raise funds for a family their work group adopted. They also encourage staff to participate in local 5K/Marathon events that help support various causes. This year, they are exploring the opportunity to make and serve meals at the Gift of Life House. It goes to show that having leadership support gives champions the ability to make a difference in many lives.