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In its fourth year of existence, Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc.'s. (BTHS)  Employee Wellness Team provided several experiences for its employees at the January 21, 2019 Staff Meeting. In keeping with the Employee Wellness Team's mantra, “Bringing Together Healthy Staff” (BTHS) and its goals to reduce health care costs, strengthen attendance, enhance performance, and prevent/reduce illness/injury, the team played an important role in planning the All Staff meeting.

In January 2018, staff were offered the opportunity to participate in a health assessment which completed bloodwork.  While individual results were provided to each participant, the quantitative data from these assessments was provided to the program. Using the overall findings, staff wellness could be reviewed and studied in order to provide the support they might need to strengthen their health.  Since that time, the Employee Wellness Team has been coordinating activities, events, articles, and opportunities for staff.  Each month's Employee Newsletter contains a health topic.

On January 21st, the morning kicked off with a nutritious and healthy trail mix of raisins, nuts, cheerios, chocolate chips, and pretzels followed by a professional development entitled, "De-Stress: The Power of a Positive Mind" presented by Lori Kunkle, RN, MSN, Senior Vice President of the Wellness Division of Power Kunkle Benefits Consulting firm with offices in Wyomissing, Schuylkill Haven, and Dunmore, PA. 

Following a healthy lunch provided by BTHS, Jen Monahan, a Teacher with BTHS, and Heather McCarthy, Nutrition Educator Center for Childhood Obesity Research, Penn State University, who provides nutrition and physical activity education to the program's children and parents, presented a "Head to Toe" activity including simple exercises, yoga techniques, and stress reducing activities such as volunteering and information about gym memberships.

At the end of the staff meeting, each staff member was presented with a gift card to be used for wellness such as a pair of sneakers, gym memberships, self-help books, or cookbooks for healthy meals.