Dryden Regional Health Centre receives OHA Healthy Hospital Innovator Award


The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has recognized the Dryden Regional Health Centre’s commitment to workplace health and wellness. The Hospital was one of nine health-care organizations in Ontario to be awarded the OHA 2005 Healthy Hospital Innovators Award.

The award recognizes OHA member organizations for their commitment to develop a long-term strategic approach to developing and sustaining a healthy workplace. The award also honours health-care organizations that demonstrate a willingness to share information on healthy workplace initiatives and practices with other organizations.

Creating and sustaining a healthy workplace has been a long-term goal for the Dryden Regional Health Centre. Achieving this award validates the success of these efforts as well as reinforcing the commitment to quality work initiatives.

The Board of Directors gave the Dryden Regional Health Centre’s Workplace Wellness Committee the responsibility of developing various wellness initiatives when work culture goals were identified within the strategic plan. It is recognized through the Dryden Regional Health Centre strategic plan as well as the Human Resources Strategic Plan that the health and wellness of employees are a key element to success as an organization.

In May of 2002, the Dryden Regional Health Centre was chosen as one of nineteen hospitals in Ontario to participate in the OHA Healthy Hospital Pilot Group. Through this group the hospital had the opportunity to participate in various wellness initiatives, as well as the Healthy Hospital Employee Survey (HHES). This allowed GRHC to survey staff on many levels, including organizational health and individual health & wellbeing. As well, the hospital participated in the CCHSA-OHA Quality of Work Life Indicators Project earlier this year.

Healthy employees are motivated, high performing individuals who can provide DRHC the opportunity to be recognized as a health-care leader, not only in our region, but on a provincial level as well.

The Passport for Healthy Living Program is the latest initiative sponsored for staff by the Dryden Regional Health Centre. In this program, employees have one year to achieve a variety of healthy living goals including, weight loss, smoking cessation, participation in an active living program, influenza immunization, as well as participation in the Workplace Wellness Committee’s monthly healthy living information sessions. If they complete the goals, they receive a healthy living bonus at the end of the year. This program has been well received by the staff at the DRHC, who are working toward completing their yearly goals.

Another initiative from the Workplace Wellness Committee surrounded the Canadian Healthy Workplace Week. Events were planned all week, which included education sessions, lunch and learns, a Health Fair and a keynote speaker. Again staff members were enthusiastic about the events, which were all very well attended.

Education and continuous learning are also imperative to creating a healthy workplace. The organization’s commitment to learning is evident in the education and training process. Each year the allocated resources for education and training increase, allowing for more staff to participate in some form of continuing education. As well, many educators are brought on-site in order to allow for more staff members to participate.

The DRHC has another active team making a difference in the workplace environment. This is the Staff for Staff committee; a committee of employee volunteers who plan various functions for the staff throughout the year. This committee was revitalized in the last few years, as they began a payroll deduction for interested staff members to fund activities and events. Interest and participation levels are very high, and this is demonstrated at the various functions the Staff for Staff committee organizes. Seventy-five per cent of full time staff are members in the Staff For Staff program.

The Healthy Hospital Innovator Award is a significant accomplishment for the staff of the Dryden Regional Health Centre as it represents external validation of innovative approaches and commitment to the development of a healthy workplace.