Category Archives: Employee Wellness

The race is on! 2015 National Bike Challenge update

By Cassandra Harris

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Impacting nearly 35,000 state employees, the new A Healthier State initiative is promoting improved health by providing comprehensive baseline worksite assessments, model policies, and wellness consultation services. Starting in May, DHEC proudly kicked off a component of the worksite wellness initiative by joining the 2015 National Bike Challenge.

A nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists—and encouraging countless new riders, the challenge aims to unite 100,000 riders to pedal 35 million miles from May 1, 2015 until September 30, 2015.

Now that we’re well into the challenge, we wanted to provide everyone with a quick update. Helping to promote a healthy lifestyle and air quality, Team DHEC has collectively ridden over 3,000 miles, enough to make it from the east coast to the west coast, and burned over 159,000 calories. Keep up the good work team!

Interested in joining TEAM DHEC? There’s still time. To participate in this year’s challenge, please contact Leslie Coolidge at coolidln@dhec.sc.gov.

Free Health Screenings Available for DHEC Employees

By Betsy Crick

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As part of our A Healthier State Initiative, DHEC is offering FREE health screenings to employees through Prevention Partners.  This is open to all DHEC employees, retirees, spouses and dependents who have the State Health Standard Plan, State Health Savings Plan, or Blue Choice HMO as their primary insurance.  The cost is $55 for those who are covered under Medicare or Tricare.

Screenings include:

  • Confidential health risk appraisal with family history, lifestyle information, medical history, BMI, blood pressure and weight
  • Comprehensive lab tests
  • Free prostate screening for men over 40

Additional testing for Hgb A1C, Vitamin D, Testosterone, and the Hepatitis C antibody is available for an extra fee.

Dates & Locations:

  • August 18 & August 26 – Mills/Jarrett Building
  • August 20 & August 25 – Sims/Aycock Building
  • September 1 – Hayne Building
  • September 3 – Columbia Mills Building

To register, please contact Dianne Suber.

How is Your Mental Health?

By Betsy Crick

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Image from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

May is Mental Health Month, and according to NAMI, we all experience emotional ups and downs from time to time caused by events in our lives.  Mental health conditions go beyond these emotional reactions and become something longer lasting. They are medical conditions that cause changes in how we think and feel and in our mood. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing.

With proper treatment, people can realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively and make meaningful contributions to the world. Without mental health, we cannot be fully healthy.

Each illness has its own set of symptoms, but some common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following, among others:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger

For more information, please talk to your doctor or visit the S.C. Department of Mental Health or the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

DHEC employees – be on the lookout for posters in our buildings throughout the state with more information about the Right Direction for Me resources!

DHEC Joins the 2015 National Bike Challenge

by Leslie Coolidge

bike pic

Impacting nearly 35,000 state employees, the new A Healthier State initiative is promoting improved health by providing comprehensive baseline worksite assessments, model policies, and wellness consultation services.  DHEC is proud to kick off a component of its worksite wellness initiative this month.

The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists—and encouraging countless new riders. It is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, your colleagues and your community to ride more while competing on a local, state and national level. Sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and People for Bikes, the program aims to unite 75,000 riders to pedal 35 million miles from May 1, 2015 until September 30, 2015.

To help promote a healthy lifestyle and air quality, DHEC is taking part in the challenge this year. Please join us – ride for air quality, for health, for DHEC, and for South Carolina! Riders are awarded 1 point for each mile ridden and 20 points for each day in which they ride at least one mile.  That’s a lot of points for a little biking!

DHEC employees – to sign up, visit nationalbikechallenge.org.  After you’ve registered, search workplaces and join the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control.  For more information, please contact Leslie Coolidge or Melissa Palmer.

Calling All DHEC Ladies!

By Betsy Crick

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As part of our A Healthier State Initiative, DHEC is bringing the Palmetto Health Digital Mobile Mammography van to multiple DHEC locations for employees to be screened.  The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older receive a mammogram every year.

Dates and locations:

  • April 16 – Sims Aycock Building
  • April 22 – Sims Aycock Building
  • April 23 – Mills Jarrett Building
  • April 27 – Hayne Building

Spaces are filling up quickly!  You must pre-register for an appointment:

  • By calling 803-296-8888 or 1-800-221-9724
  • Or, register online at www.palmettohealth.org.  Click “appointment,” complete all information, then you must click “pre-register” and complete all information.  You will receive a call back with your appointment time.

You’ll need to bring your insurance card to your appointment.  Insurance will be billed for anyone with any insurance plan.  With the State Health Plan, mammography is covered for the following:

  • Ages 40+ annually
  • Ages 26-39 with a written doctor’s order (please ​contact insurance with billing questions if this is not your first mammogram)​

Questions?  Please contact Dianne Suber.  To learn how to reduce your risk of breast cancer, please visit the DHEC website.