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Hospital Employees Shed 477lbs in Weight Loss Challenge
In October 2014, Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH) launched an internal Biggest Loser Challenge, which ran for 75 days and encouraged employees to participate, with the reward of $1000 in cash prizes. A special ceremony was held on January 9, 2015, in the hospital cafeteria, in order to recognize participants for their hard work and dedication, and to award prizes for exceptional performance.

This weight loss initiative was directed by CREATION Health, a wellness program based on the 8 biblical principles found in the creation story, one of which is nutrition.

“The goal of the competition was not just to lose weight; it was about promoting healthy habits and making wiser choices,” said Hurriyat Ghayyur, Marketing Director at MMH. “By making it a challenge and introducing the team concept, we ensured that employees would have fun and get sufficient encouragement on their journey towards a healthier lifestyle, while being held accountable as well.”

Over-sized checks were awarded to James Couch, the male with the greatest percentage of weight loss, Abbie Burnett, the female with the greatest percentage of weight loss, and “The Meltaways”, the team with the greatest percentage of weight loss (comprising of Garry Ball, Barbara Ball and Abbie Burnette). There were a total of 111 employees on 37 teams who participated, with a total combined weight loss of 477 pounds.

“I’m excited about losing the weight that I did, as my body feels renewed,” said James Couch, Director of Clinic Operations and MMH’s biggest loser, male. “Typically, I gain weight during the holidays but this time around, I actually lost weight. The feeling of responsibility that came with being on a team, coupled with the motivation provided by team mates, made it easier to achieve my goals.”

Abbie Burnette, who works in Human Resources and was the biggest loser, female, said she found the hospital’s weight-loss challenge provided the motivation she needed to lose weight. “I quit drinking diet soda and replaced it with lots of water. I also cut out all sweets, and started eating lots of vegetables and fruits.” When asked if she would participate in such a challenge again, Abbie said “Honestly, I didn’t even want to join in the beginning. But once I did, it was very rewarding, and the support from my team was a great help. I would definitely participate again.”

“We want to not only empower our employees, but also to provide them with the tools and opportunities they need to improve and maintain their health,” said Erika Skula, President and Chief Executive Officer of MMH. “The amount of employee involvement in this competition was tremendous and we hope to achieve the same results in all of our health improvement initiatives.”

CREATION Health also offers programs and classes open to the community featuring a variety of topics focused on whole person health and lifestyle transformation. For a list of available classes or for more information, please visit www.manchestermemorial.org or call 606-598-1095.