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Employee wellness is focus of Scantic Valley Regional Health Trust

LONGMEADOW A regional pilot program will focus on the health of municipal employees with emphasis placed on tobacco cessation, physical activity, nutrition and stress management. The effort will be funded with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It encompasses the following six municipal entities: Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Hampden, the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District and the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative. The Scantic Valley Regional Health Trust was formed over 15 years ago in an attempt to regionalize health care coverage and reduce costs for the six municipal entities. For years the SVRHT Board has been looking at wellness programs as a way to reduce or maintain its costs. With the recent receipt of the grant from the Mass Department of Public Health and subsequent hiring of a part-time Wellness Coordinator, Amy Higgins, the SVRHT plans to bring wellness to the forefront. The wellness programs will be offered to all municipal employees in the six entitites, not just to those insured through the SVRHT. Employees recently took part in their first incentive program all who completed a questionnaire related to health and wellness resources were entered into a drawing for a $50 gas card. The overall Wellness Strategy will include walking programs, weight loss challenges and smoking cessation programs. For further information, contact Amy Higgins at 323-4309.

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