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KP Corporate Health Promotion Improves Community Wellness

As Paul Harper walked around a track in Elk Grove he was suddenly overwhelmed by how out of shape he had become. Harper, a paramedic supervisor, had let his weight climb to an unhealthy level and as a result, his Type 2 diabetes was out of control. But things were about to change.

Paul and Corri Harper, before and today.

Paul and Corri Harper, before and today.

Harper’s wife Corri is a teacher for the Elk Grove Unified School District, which is one of more than 100 Sacramento area businesses that participate in Kaiser Permanente’s Corporate Health Promotion Program. “My wife told me about a program Kaiser was offering at her work and asked me if I wanted to do it with her,” said Harper. “I was ready for this opportunity. We met with the trainers who answered questions about walking and running, and we also get weekly emails that keep me motivated.”

The program, called the Walk and Run Club, is one of many led by KP’s Corporate Health Promotion Program. Based in the North Valley Health Education Department, Corporate Health teams up with local businesses around the greater Sacramento area such as Thunder Valley Casino, the City of Sacramento, VSP, and many others, to improve the overall health and wellness of their workforce by offering screenings, workshops, classes, and even flu vaccinations.

“We can influence the culture by changing the environment,” said Eileen Peterson, a registered dietitian and manager of Corporate, Community, and Employee (live well be well) Health Education. “It helps make the healthy choice, the easy choice.”

Trainers like Joe Mallory, Health Educator and Fitness Specialist, often work with partner organizations to do an assessment, biometrics, and BMI on staff then create programs that will get them moving.

“They tell us about their wellness idea,” said Mallory. “And we create a customized program for them.” In Elk Grove, KP hosts walking paths for the campuses. Teachers, students, and even the bus drivers are using them. “At the district office the staff are opting to take creative movement breaks, walking on the paths to break up their day instead of being sedentary is only one example” said Mallory. “We have given them tools to fit their work culture and they are using them.”

Paul Harper before and after joining one of KP’s Corporate Wellness programs.

Paul Harper before and after joining one of KP’s Corporate Wellness programs.

“These programs can have a great carry over effect,” said Peterson. “We hope to influence the employees and they then influence their families. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

One of the biggest winners is the Harper family. In just five months, Corri Harper lost her post-pregnancy weight and finished a 5K. Paul Harper lost more than 60 pounds and now has his diabetes under control. Not only did he meet his goal of running a 5K, he just completed a 10K and plans to do more.

“My next goal is a half marathon,” said Harper. “The program has made a difference. I am grateful that we were able to make changes and live a healthy lifestyle together as a family. I appreciate that.”

Contact us for more information on Walk and Run club opportunities or custom Corporate Health Promotion programs and services.