Co­conut Bay Hosts Suc­cess­ful Em­ployee Health & Well­ness Fair

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Toni Ni­cholas

Ac­cord­ing to the United States Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol, a work­place health pro­gram that com­bines both in­di­vid­ual and or­ga­ni­za­tional strate­gies may pro­duce ben­e­fits both for in­di­vid­ual em­ploy­ees and their fam­i­lies as well as the or­ga­ni­za­tion as a whole. With this in mind, and also rec­og­niz­ing that healthy work­ers equals not only bet­ter re­turns but hap­pier em­ploy­ees, Co­conut Bay Beach Re­sort & Spa hosted its first ever em­ployee Health & Well­ness Fair on Wed­nes­day 20th, April, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Rec­og­niz­ing the im­por­tance of such an ac­tiv­ity, and due to the re­sound­ing suc­cess of the fair, based on the pos­i­tive feed­back from the staff, the re­sort in­tends to make this an an­nual event. In ad­di­tion, Dahlia Gra­ham the Hu­man Re­source Di­rec­tor of the re­sort, which is lo­cated in Vieux Fort and em­ploys over 400 staff, says there will be fol­low-ups to Wed­nes­day’s ac­tiv­ity.

The STAR vis­ited the one day Health & Well­ness Fair and en­gaged some staff mem­bers and ex­hibitors dur­ing the ac­tiv­ity. Ac­cord­ing to the HR Di­rec­tor, she felt com­pelled to or­ga­nize the fair given the alarm­ing rate of can­cer and di­a­betes on the is­land among other chronic dis­eases and health is­sues.

“In my pro­fes­sional ca­reer I have al­ways done health fairs but re­ally, what pushed me to do this one was the some­what de­press­ing news about some of the chronic dis­eases and poor nu­tri­tional prac­tices we are faced with on-is­land,’ Gra­ham said. “But also from a holis­tic stand­point I felt it was im­por­tant to give staff an ed­u­ca­tion about their fi­nan­cial health and so some of our part­ners at the fair were Sco­tia­bank, the La­borie Credit Union and the Na­tional In­surance Co­op­er­a­tion,” she in­formed the STAR.

Other booths and pre­sen­ters at Wed­nes­day’s fair in­cluded the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture mak­ing a case for more nu­tri­tional foods and back­yard gar­dens, On­col­o­gist Owen Gabriel, Herbal­ist Gil­bertha St. Rose of Eden Herbs and the re­sort’s own doc­tor, Dr. Beaubrun. There were also rep­re­sen­ta­tives from St. Jude’s Hospi­tal, The Min­istry of Health with a fo­cus on the Zika virus, Faces of Can­cer and the Nat­u­ral Fer­til­ity Cen­ter.

Dur­ing our visit shortly af­ter noon on Wed­nes­day, more than three hundred em­ploy­ees had al­ready tra­versed the Health and Well­ness Fair in­ter­act­ing with fa­cil­i­ta­tors and hav­ing var­i­ous tests done in­clud­ing blood pres­sure checks.

“What we did was that we pre­pared a Health pass­port so as our em­ploy­ees went to the var­i­ous booths, they had th­ese signed and they all seemed ea­ger and ex­cited about the whole thing,” Gra­ham told the STAR. Em­ploy­ees also re­ceived pam­phlets and small to­kens from the var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ta­tors.

One em­ployee - Dilan who works at the bar at Co­conut Bay - de­scribed the ini­tia­tive as a very im­por­tant one. “We are never too old to learn some­thing new and, as men, we need to be more aware of health is­sues and so I am very ap­pre­cia­tive of this fair,” he told us.

Stephen, who works in main­te­nance, said such an ac­tiv­ity is a re­flec­tion of the fact that man­age­ment of the re­sort do care about staff well-be­ing. “Some­times I would leave home for work in a rush on a morn­ing and not have time for a proper breakfast, so to­day I was re­minded of eat­ing healthy,” Stephen said. He also took ad­van­tage of the ad­vice given by the fi­nan­cial ser­vices providers.

Fran­cisca, em­ployed in the restau­rant de­part­ment, said that be­ing from the South she was keen to learn more about St. Jude’s Hospi­tal. She de­scribed the fair as “ed­u­ca­tional” and “very in­ter­est­ing”.

Char­lotte Byrne, fer­til­ity ther­a­pist prac­ti­tioner at the Fer­til­ity Cen­ter said she was amazed by the en­thu­si­asm and ex­cite­ment com­ing from the staff as well as their in­ter­est in the var­i­ous is­sues.

Dahlia Gra­ham said that with the back­ing of the re­sort’s CEO Mark Adams, she set out to or­ga­nize the fair hop­ing for the best. “I am now over­whelmed and more than happy we were able to give our staff ac­cess to such ser­vices and I do be­lieve that this was a suc­cess,” she said.

The in­ten­tion now is to make the Co­conut Bay Health and Well­ness Fair an an­nual event. How­ever, in be­tween that time the HR Di­rec­tor says there will be con­stant fol­low-up with staff and the post­ing of bul­letins and no­tices in the staff can­teen and at strate­gi­cally placed points at the re­sort.

One of the co­or­di­na­tors of the fair, Chan­ice John of Co­conut Bay (left), with HR Di­rec­tor Dahlia Gra­ham.

Staff in­ter­act with St. Jude’s Hospi­tal per­son­nel.

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