February 7, 2014
Savannah River Remediation (SRR), the liquid waste contractor at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS), believes that employees participating in the company's wellness program are all winners, even though they are attempting to lose.
SRR kicked off its "SRR Biggest Winner" competition in January 2014 as part of the company's employee wellness program, which will make winners from employee teams who lose weight and lower personal numbers like blood pressure and cholesterol.
A total of 172 employees formed four-person teams in a six-month competition to lose weight and lower their combined numbers associated with their individual body mass index, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. The team that has the largest percentage of improvement in these areas on June 30, 2014, will be SRR's Biggest Winners. Each team member will receive a mountain bike and a personally escorted bike ride hosted by Ken Rueter, SRR President and Project Manager, who is a mountain bike enthusiast.
The competition is the latest effort by SRR to provide employees a means to achieve better health and wellness, according to Patricia Allen, SRR's Environment, Safety and Health Director.
"As a company, we are continually looking for ways to foster employee excitement and participation in our wellness program and the Biggest Winner competition is our most recent endeavor," Allen said. "But the competition is just one in a long series of programs SRR has initiated to encourage our employees to get fit and stay fit. We are seeing more and more of our employees attending health education sessions, screenings and health fairs, while working to improve their personal health."
SRR has developed and continues to implement a partnership with Georgia's University Hospital of Augusta as part of the hospital's Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention (HASP) program. Hospital staff members visit the Site to conduct lunch-and-learn sessions and initial screenings and then provide follow up consultations with employees at the hospital. Over 500 SRR employees and spouses have been screened by HASP team members since the partnership was initiated in 2012.
Another hospital-related program continuing this year is a partnership with Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine. In this program, employees receive free oral cancer screenings onsite and are provided wellness information during educational sessions.
Also, as part of a partnership with Hearing Associates of South Carolina, employees receive free onsite hearing screenings.
Another wellness program continuing this year is the SRR Walking Program, which is registered and monitored by the American Heart Association. Ninety-four employees are actively participating in the program by walking and tracking their mileage and by participating in a daily lunch program known as "Walk Away the Pounds."
SRR also shares its wellness endeavors with the community by sponsoring health fairs open to the public and by making monetary donations to area health centers. SRR continued its support of providing flu shots for senior citizens and low income residents by donating $4,000 to the Low Country Health System.
Emphasizing the importance of being healthy to employees and sharing information and resources with the community will continue to be an undertaking for SRR, Rueter said.
"SRR has taken a strong leadership position at SRS in ensuring our employees have access to services and education regarding their health," Rueter said. "We will continue to expand our partnerships with local providers of various health services and share our time, resources and information with our neighbors in our communities."
The Savannah River Site, located near Aiken, S.C., is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. The SRS Liquid Waste contract is managed by Savannah River Remediation, a team of companies led by URS Corporation, with partners Bechtel National, CH2M Hill and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, Energy Solutions and URS Professional Solutions.