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A Great Library Starts with a Healthy You!

Denver Public Library, CO
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Innovation Summary

The Denver Public Library offers free and/or affordable wellness options to our employees. Recently, we instituted an annual Wellness Fair, monthly chair massages, a Weigh and Win kiosk, prescription assistance program and a Wellness Center that features a variety of exercise equipment and a shower facility.

Innovation Leader: Michelle Peña, Benefits and Leave Coordinator, mpena@denverlibrary.org

Problem Statement

The Denver Public Library has experienced budget cuts, mandatory furlough days and reduced staffing for the last several years. This has created a high level of employee stress and directly impacted productivity. The goal was to give our employees affordable tools to decrease their stress level and improve their overall health before it had a negative effect on their body and their work. An unhealthy, unhappy employee leads to decreased productivity and negative customer service. We looked for tools that would give their bodies relief from stress (yoga, chair massages and acupuncture); help them take control of their overall health (our healthcare providers offer free online health assessments); and increase financial awareness to better manage their money and find resources if their family needed assistance. All of these factors play a key role in the mental state employees bring to work. Given the continuing demand for great customer service with limited resources, we wanted to make sure our employees feel that the Library supports their physical and emotional well being.

Innovation

Wellness Fair Directly aligning with the Denver Public Library’s mission, the goal of the annual Wellness Fair is to motivate employees to incorporate wellness into their daily routine. We coordinate with over 25 vendors to offer free blood screenings, dental exams, chair massages, fitness demonstrations, healthy food samples, and address financial wellness. We include representatives from our healthcare providers to answer questions regarding current health plans. Through a survey offered at the Wellness Fair we found that employees wanted chair massages, acupuncture and Yoga offered at an affordable rate. We scheduled licensed individuals to come into the Library. The most popular of the three was chair massages and it continues to be offered on a monthly basis. Weigh and Win We found a program that was in its beginning stages called Weigh and Win sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. It is free to all Colorado residents and rewards participants for being healthy. Participants visit a kiosk at least once every 90 days to track your weight progress and receive cash for weight improvement, or other prizes just for participating. Through daily messages with personalized coaching on nutrition and physical activity, this program helps incorporate healthy eating and active living habits into daily living. A Weigh and Win kiosk is located at the Central Library. Wellness Center We have gathered various exercise equipment from our City’s Wellness Center and surplus shop and are proud to offer our employee’s a free workout facility in the basement of the Central Library. Colorado Drug Card We partnered with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and distribute cards that offer Colorado residents access to a statewide Prescription Assistance Program.

Progress

The various wellness needs of our employees are wide-ranged. We have learned throughout the process that Wellness in the Workplace is an evolving endeavor. We have received positive feedback from our employees with the current wellness options that we have implemented. We have also discovered that our employees are happier knowing that they have the support from upper management concerning their wellness and it has had a positive effect on their work life. The Denver Public Library will continue on the current path of Wellness and will add various online reference tools in the future for our employees.