Healthy Communities

SOmetimes funky, sometimes fancy, always fresh! : Tsunami's Success in a healthy and tobacco-free environment

 

Tsunami has been a popular hotspot in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans for many years because of their fresh sushi and diverse dishes. They offer a variety of menu items, but with WellSpot and Eat Fit designation, they were able to indicate healthy menu items to make patrons more aware of their menu choices! Restaurant manager, Zac Roy, states, “The healthy menu items are popular. I am surprised that often a whole table will order their rolls with brown rice. I’m glad the new menu items give the customers a choice so they know the exact nutritional information of what they are eating.” 

Tsunami was also very excited to adopt a tobacco-free policy. Before WellSpot designation, Tsunami adhered to the city ordinance of no smoking in the restaurant, but allowing their employees to take smoke breaks. Adopting a tobacco-free policy for the restaurant now provides a healthier environment for their employees, by taking it a step further than the state mandated indoor air policy, and not allowing tobacco usage anywhere on the premises- indoor or outdoor. Restaurant manager, Zac Roy, believes that the tobacco-free policy has decreased the amount of cigarettes smoked, thus inspiring employees to quit smoking all together! Because of this change, his employee’s now lead a happier, healthier lifestyle! 

By promoting healthy menu items to highlight nutritional information for patrons and establishing a policy to create a tobacco-free environment, Tsunami is helping make the healthy choice the easy choice for residents of Louisiana. 

Did You Know?

  • 35.5% of Louisiana residents are considered obese, 45th in the U.S. Obesity can lead to chronic diseases that affect work productivity as well as attendance. 

  • Second hand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year. 

  • In 2015, the National Restaurant Association reported there were 8,371 dining locations in Louisiana. Today, the average American household spends almost half of their food budget on dining outside the home.

Moving Louisiana’s Health Forward

Well-Ahead works with worksites, hospitals, schools, child care centers, colleges/universities and restaurants to help meet wellness benchmarks. A place or organization that has implemented voluntary, smart changes to make healthier living easier for all Louisiana residents will be designated as a “WellSpot.”  These changes affect everyone and can make Louisiana healthier!   

Are you interested in becoming a WellSpot? Partner with us to move Louisiana’s health forward! Email wellahead@la.gov to learn more.  Together, we can move Louisiana’s overall health Well-Ahead. 

OLDIES BUT GOODIES

Rainbow Child Care Center Aces Worksite Wellness Programming

Dionne Graham, Executive Director of East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care Center, believes that as caregiver, you can’t pour from an empty cup. She wanted to send the message that if by taking better care of yourself, you’ll be better a caregiver to the families the Center serves, as well as families at home. But, as most of us can relate, funding and time repeatedly pushed worksite wellness programming to the bottom of her priority list. When Dionne learned about Well-Ahead Louisiana’s WellSpot Designation Program everything changed. With the support of Well-Ahead, Dionne was able to implement healthy changes in her workplace, despite her small staff of 15 women.

Rainbow Childcare Center began its journey to WellSpot designation by creating a Wellness Committee including staff, parents and various stakeholders such as Slidell Memorial Hospital. The Center’s partnership with Memorial Hospital resulted in a Community Outreach Nurse visiting the Center to provide blood pressure and BMI screenings monthly! This nurse also hosts regular, on-site workshops on topics selected by staff. As part of the designation process, the Center also became a breastfeeding friendly workplace, promotes a tobacco-free campus, and offers healthy food options at all staff meetings. Since being designated as a WellSpot, staff members are encouraging each other to make healthy food choices. They are dancing in the classrooms with their students. Dionne has even seen a competitive streak during their weight loss challenge!

The importance of living a healthy lifestyle and modeling that behavior for children has a tremendous impact in preparing their minds and bodies for learning and creating happy employees while reducing stress, increasing productivity, boosting morale and lowering absenteeism. Being a designated Level One WellSpot provided a way for Rainbow Child Care Center to connect to their employees in a meaningful way. It also gave them the tools they needed to create real change in employee lives and the lives of all they touch.

Did You Know?

  •  Worksite wellness programs have been shown to increase employees’ overall satisfaction, increase productivity and decrease absenteeism.
  • 36.2% of Louisiana residents are considered obese. Obesity can lead to chronic diseases that affect work productivity as well as attendance.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year.

Moving Louisiana’s Health Forward

WellSpots are spaces and places in Louisiana that have implemented healthy changes in their environment to help their employees and community live well. When you make the healthy choice the easy choice, the benefits are endless. Employees are happier. They miss less work. They are more productive. And, their healthcare costs go down! It’s easy to become a WellSpot. Start the WellSpot designation process today by taking the online assessment here.

North Oaks Implements Healthy Vending Choices

Fifteen North Oaks Health System facilities have recently been designated as Level 1 WellSpots, with 30 additional North Oaks facilities designated as Level 2 WellSpots. North Oaks provides a tobacco-free and breastfeeding friendly environment; healthy dining and vending options; and patient education on the following topics: 1) tobacco cessation 2) diabetes self-management 3) obesity 4) high blood pressure and the 4) 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go! message.  These healthy practices enrich the lives of North Oaks employees and invest in the health of the Tangipahoa and Livingston parish communities.

 

The health system’s most exciting benchmark achievement incorporates healthy vending into North Oaks facilities where vending is available.  Offering healthier vending options makes the healthy choice the easy choice.  It empowers North Oaks employees and patrons to make small healthy choices every day, which can help prevent high blood pressure and obesity.  To do this, North Oaks added several PepsiCo Hello Goodness Machines on its main hospital campus and added several healthy options to other machines. 

 

The health system rolled out its healthy vending with an employee nutrition series that included education on food labeling, snacking and weight loss. Going forward, the system will also host weight loss challenges and wellness screenings annually. North Oaks employees have readily embraced the healthy vending options.    

 

As major employers and health leaders, health systems have a great opportunity to promote healthy choices in the spaces and places where we live and work.  Hospitals help establish norms for healthy living.  North Oaks is one of Louisiana's largest health systems with two hospitals, an outpatient surgery center, two outpatient diagnostic & treatment centers, two outpatient rehabilitation clinics, a hospice agency and physician group primary and specialty care clinic network in Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes. North Oaks has repeatedly been recognized as employee-friendly and a "Best Place to Work" (New Orleans CityBusiness 2008 – 2013, 2016). 

  

To learn more about healthy vending, click here.  


DID YOU KNOW?

  • 36.2% of Louisiana is obese.  This ranks our state the most obese in the nation.
  • Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.  
  • In recent years, our nation’s obesity prevalence has almost tripled – up from 11.6% in 1990 to 29.8% today.
  • According to the Snack Food Association, about 74% of consumers are trying to eat healthier. Thus, sales of healthier snacks are outpacing traditional snack foods by 4 to 11.

MOVING LOUISIANA’S HEALTH FORWARD

WellSpots are spaces and places in Louisiana that have implemented healthy changes in their environment to help their employees and community live well.  When you make the healthy choice the easy choice, the benefits are endless. Employees are happier. They miss less work. They are more productive. And, their healthcare costs go down! It’s easy to become a WellSpot. Start the WellSpot designation process today by taking the online assessment here.

West Feliciana Parish Library Makes Healthy Living Easier For Employees and Patrons

The West Feliciana Parish Library has been a hub for the St. Francisville community for many years, providing resources for patrons such as meeting spaces, children and teen reading spaces, and a newly built playground and walking trail.   

The library wanted to ensure that the spaces available to patrons reflect healthy living choices and provide a health-conscious environment for all patrons. One challenge the library faced involved individuals regularly smoking at the entrance to the library, often causing patrons to have to walk through cigarette smoke upon entering the building. Desiring to protect its patrons from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke[i], the library saw a wonderful opportunity for partnership when they were approached by Well-Ahead Louisiana about adopting wellness benchmarks through the WellSpot Designation Program.

The Well-Ahead team assisted the West Feliciana Parish library in adopting a comprehensive tobacco-free policy, ensuring that employees and patrons would no longer be allowed to smoke near the entrance of the library. The library also began promoting the Louisiana Quitline, which offers free cessation coaching and resources to those who want to quit using tobacco. In addition to the tobacco-related benchmarks, the library started promoting the 5-2-1-0 message and adopted a healthy meeting policy[ii], ensuring healthy options are served at all meetings.

The director of the library, Glenna Fallin, says, “The designation of being a WellSpot will affect many in the community as they begin to see the changes in health consciousness here. Our new policies in regards to breastfeeding, smoking, and food/beverage content at meetings and programs will, hopefully, cross over into the public’s private lives as well.” The West Feliciana Library has become a great role model for local businesses in West Feliciana Parish, and the staff is hoping other businesses will join in to move Louisiana’s health forward!

Did You Know?

  • 29.1% of men and 33.6% of women use counseling and/or medication to quit smoking.1

  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death.2

  • There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure; even brief exposure can be harmful to health.3

Moving Louisiana’s Health Forward

WellSpots are places and spaces in Louisiana that have implemented healthy changes in their environment to help their employees and community members live well. It’s easy to become a WellSpot. Start the WellSpot designation process today by taking the online assessment here.


[i] For more information regarding the health consequences of exposure to secondhand smoke, see the CDC’s Fact Sheet “Secondhand Smoke: What It Means to You” found online here: https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/secondhand-smoke-consumer.pdf.