Employee Health and Fitness
“Caregivers often put others first, which is a good thing. However, we have to prioritize making time for ourselves so we are able to function at our best,” explains David Decarlucci, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Supervisor at St. Clair Health. David is also the chair of the Employee Wellness Committee, which consists of professionals from different areas across the health system who come together with the goal of making healthy choices easier for the employees at St. Clair.
The Committee focuses on physical activity, nutrition, and stress management. They encourage healthy lifestyle changes to better manage blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress levels, because employees who are healthy and happy are able to better provide our patients with Expert care from people who care. Ensuring employees focus on health and wellness helps to prevent burnout, increase resilience, and provide employees with the opportunity to feel better every day.
The Committee is able to reach its goal by promoting health and fitness through a variety of different events.
Pedal Your Pledge Event
One of the major events the Committee holds is the Pedal Your Pledge event. This event consists of groups of six people participating in a relay race on air bikes. Each group gets ten minutes to pedal as much distance as they can. The groups select a foundation to represent and fundraise for, and the winners gain an extra bonus for their foundation of choice. “Overall, the event is a fun and friendly way to get together and celebrate fitness and exercise,” explains David.
Weight Loss Challenge
St. Clair’s weight loss challenge starts in January every year. It is a friendly challenge that provides employees that are interested with an additional incentive to lose weight. It is a great challenge for after the holidays because it helps those who want assistance with sticking to their resolutions. As the challenge progresses, employees participating are rewarded with prizes for their weight loss. They can win a range of different items like gift cards, free yearlong employee fitness memberships, or free fitness equipment.
American Heart Association Heart Walk
St. Clair Health’s Employee Wellness Committee annually participates in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Our employees have been taking part in the heart walk since 1985; it is not only open to employees, but also to patients and their family members. The walk is designed as a way to raise money and awareness for the fight against heart disease. David explains, “It is a great way to meet the spouses and children of patients and employees while also focusing on health and fitness.”
Stride and Ride
Every year, the St. Clair Health Stride and Ride takes place in the spring at one of the trails around Pittsburgh. This year, the event will be held at the Montour Trail. Employees, their friends, and their family members are encouraged to come and walk, run, or bike the trail. All those participating are also able to bring their dogs to join in on the fun as long as they are on a leash. The event helps to raise money for the St. Clair Health Foundation so the hospital is able to purchase important equipment that is used throughout the facility.
Being a part of the Committee has given David the opportunity to work with employees from different departments and areas he may not normally get the chance to interact with on a day-to-day basis. He is grateful for the opportunity to help others be the best versions of themselves and enjoys the experience of working on employee wellness initiatives.
The Committee has helped improve communication and teamwork, while also making a difference in St. Clair employees’ lives. “When I pass someone in the hall or receive an email that they enjoyed a particular challenge or made some type of improvement in their health or fitness it motivates me more to keep doing the things we are doing and also find new innovative ways to support wellness for my coworkers,” explained David.