HealthStart initiative invites

faculty, staff participants

Editor's note: The following letter to the Emory community is from President Bill Chace and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Michael Johns.

We are pleased to announce an exciting initiative that Emory is undertaking as part of its health and wellness offerings for faculty and staff. Called Emory HealthStart (EHS), this initiative is a collaborative venture of our education, research and service components that is designed to enhance the health and well-being of both individuals and the Emory community.

Advancing our mission of education, research and service, the Emory Employee Assistance and Wellness Program (EEAP) and the Woodruff School of Nursing initiated and are directing Emory HealthStart. EEAP, based in the Emory Well House, is the central point of contact and communication for the project.

Emory HealthStart seeks to involve approximately 1,200 randomly selected faculty and staff in a process that will give them important information about their health habits and health risks. Free and confidential, EHS combines assessments of height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol with a short questionnaire. This information will be used to generate a personal report for each participant, suggesting ways to enhance health and quality of life. Additionally, Emory HealthStart provides information about appropriate resources, including our own Emory health system, for addressing any health-related questions, concerns or issues. The entire process is truly a springboard to health.

Perhaps the most exciting dimension of Emory HealthStart is its vision of enhancing health as a vehicle for building community. In the spirit of Choices & Responsibility, Emory HealthStart recognizes that community issues "bear directly upon the mission and purpose of the University-that is, upon the ways we think, learn, know and understand."

In that vein, Emory HealthStart will also generate a picture of the collective health habits and health risks of our community. That picture in turn will help Emory identify and develop programs that best meet the health and wellness needs of our faculty and staff. It is important to understand that no participant's health profile or confidentiality will be compromised or revealed by generating this community health picture.

Faculty and staff invited to participate in this process have been selected through a statistical method designed to yield a representative sample of our total population. The process itself takes approximately 30 minutes. Any and all time that falls during a participant's regular work schedule is to be treated as paid work time.

Invitations to participate in this project have been mailed to some of you. We urge you to give every favorable consideration to our invitation, as it presents a charter opportunity to make a wellspring of difference in your life and the life of the community.

As the process goes forward, information will be available through Emory Report and other campus media. Other opportunities for promoting and developing our individual and organizational health are also being designed. Each of these opportunities presents yet another way each of us may exercise choices and responsibilities to help make Emory wellness a way of life. To find out more about Emory HealthStart and other wellness initiatives, call the Emory Employee Assistance and Wellness Program at 727-WELL.

Be safe, be healthy, be well.

Return to March 17, 1997 Contents Page