UT Southwestern Medical Center

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Medical center helps staff fuel their wellness tanks

We are pleased to shine the spotlight on UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Champion.

Living well. That’s what UT Southwestern strives to help employees do year-round — whether they’re going through a global pandemic or not. That’s also why it’s the perfect title for the organization’s main employee wellness program.

The UT Southwestern Living Well program includes a myriad of resources, and tools available to all members of its organization. The program’s pride and joy is its exercise challenge, “10K a Day.” The contest encourages staff to form teams and compete against others from across the organization to log at least 10,000 steps a day.

“It’s a fun, competitive way to encourage all staff members to have an active lifestyle with healthy levels of movement,” said Mandi Longoria, BSN, RNC-OB, professional development and Magnet program manager at UT Southwestern. “Our exercise challenges like this one are always popular because teams compete and can win prizes along the way.”

Another part of the Living Well program is a clinical behavioral weight loss program that teaches how to eat instead of what to eat. Those who apply have access to a self-paced online program designed to improve employee nutrition and health.

Mental Health Matters, Too
UT Southwestern places a huge emphasis on mental well-being. One of the ways it helps staff prioritize this area of health is through the Well-Being Fuel Gauge.

This online assessment is open to all UT Southwestern nurses, staff members, and faculty members. Once taken, it provides a score on a scale of 0-100. If the person’s fuel tank is almost empty (score of 0-5) and they consent, their score is sent to the Behavioral Health Response Team. From there, the person can choose to take advantage of mental health resources provided to help “fill” their tank.

The medical center also has a stress management hotline open to UT Southwestern employees, faculty, clinicians, and learners daily.

Wellness During a Pandemic
Once it was clear the pandemic was challenging its workers, UT Southwestern established a COVID-19 resources center. The online hub is accessible to anyone, but certain resources require employment with UT Southwestern. It includes access to the tools mentioned above, plus:
  • Flexible options for childcare
  • Substance abuse hotline
  • Upcoming virtual wellness events
  • Guided meditations
  • Educational resources for families and children
  • UT Southwestern social media groups

“We provide so many different ways to make sure our staff feels valued, appreciated, and heard,” said Mandi. “We prioritize relationship-based care, so we’re focused on making sure our people are happy and healthy.”

With the challenges of a demanding pandemic, UT Southwestern also makes sure to show gratitude and appreciation to all workers. The “I Am UTSW” social media campaign, which began in 2020 but is ongoing, recognizes those who’ve gone above and beyond. Specifically, it thanks those who took on new/additional roles or sacrificed major time commitments over the past year.

Spreading Health Far and Wide
UT Southwestern gets the word out about its wellness offerings and those of Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation through an internal newsletter, the Monday Magnet Minute. In the newsletter, UT Southwestern highlights ANA’s webinars, #healthynurse challenges, and more.

With the help of Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation, UT Southwestern makes the health and happiness of all staff members a priority every day.

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Posted by Holly E Carpenter, RN, BSN on Mar 15, 2021 2:34 PM America/Chicago

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