April 2015
Central Maryland Region

New this Month


Welcome new HMB Chaney Enterprises!


Brag to us!

Has your business reduced claims based on your wellness programming? Workplace wellness initiatives improve the health of your employees and have a direct impact on a company's bottom line. Tell us about your successes and let us help you reach your goals! Contact psmelkinson@healthyhowardmd.org for tips and programming ideas as well as bragging rights for those with documented successes!

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Courtesy of National Safety Council 


We know cell phone-related car crashes are a problem. We just don't know how big the problem is. Unfortunately, no breathalyzer-like test exists for cell phone use behind the wheel and drivers in crashes are often reluctant to admit use. This creates a huge gap in the data. 


Driving and cell phone conversations both require a great deal of thought. When doing them at the same time, your brain is unable to do either well. For example, it's nearly impossible to read a book and have a phone conversation. While driving, this often results in crashes due to delayed braking times and not seeing traffic signals.


Employers are going beyond state laws to follow best practices. Responsible employers protect their employees from unnecessary risks. Allowing employees to use cell phones while driving is letting them be four times as likely to crash. Employers are being held liable up to $25 million for employee crashes, even when employees are using hands-free devices.

Healthiest Maryland Businesses encourages you to help keep your employees safe by enacting a policy regarding cell phone use while driving. We have easy to adapt templates and would be happy to work with you to put a policy in place. 


For technical assistance of any sort related to worksite wellness, please contact psmelkinson@healthyhowardmd.org. For more information on Distracted Driving Awareness Month, please visit www.nsc.org

Spotlight on the Region  


Baltimore Aircoil Company is recognized as the world's largest manufacturer of evaporative cooling, thermal storage, and heat transfer equipment. Their products are sold to the commercial building market as components for air conditioning systems, to the food industry for air conditioning and refrigeration applications, and to a broad range of industries for process and power installations equipment cooling.


The corporate office of 170 employees is located in Jessup and their wellness initiative has strong support from upper management. A  Wellness Coach is on-site 4 days a week and works with a wellness committee to ensure that the program provides what employees want and need.  


In addition to a comprehensive and competitive benefits package, the following are what Baltimore Aircoil offers its employees through its robust wellness programming: 

  • Periodic Lunch and Learns 
  • An on-site smoking cessation program
  • Yearly health fairs
  • An on-site fitness center
  • On-site physicals and health screenings
  • Gym membership reimbursement
  • A healthy recipe cookbook designed by employees
  • Healthy cafeteria options including a daily salad bar
  • Vending machines that offer at least 25% healthy options, in accordance with the County's vending policy
  • Wellness Wednesday Newsletters highlighting upcoming events as well as providing health tips
  • In accordance with the law, a dedicated lactation room for nursing mothers
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • On-site fitness classes and personal training
  • Monthly fundraisers in support of health awareness donated to local charities
  • Pedometer challenge with 95% employee participation rate totaled 11,006 miles walked in just one month
  • Body Fat Loss Challenge and a Nutrition Challenge
  • On-site farmer's market once a month last fall that will increase to twice a month over the summer due to popular demand
  • On-site blood drives three times a year

In their effort to make Baltimore Aircoil the Employer of Choice they provide a healthy workplace that integrates organizational culture, physical work environment, and health resources to achieve optimal health of employees and its business. Through its wellness program, Baltimore Aircoil has improved overall employee health, productivity, retention, morale and has seen reductions in its health care spending. After only one year with this program, they have seen a 6% reduction in health care costs!


For more information on Baltimore Aircoil's outstanding wellness programming, please contact Bill Menchen at wmenchen@baltimoreaircoil.com.


                                      Tips and Ideas


Healthy Snacking While Commuting 


Did you know that roughly 1 out of 6 American workers commute more than forty-five minutes each way?


Long commutes can lead to poor food choices. If we don't plan accordingly, we may not make enough time for dinner preparation, grab a bag of chips from the vending machine, drink a soda while we sit in traffic, or even worse, stop at a fast food restaurant for a pre-dinner snack like fries and a milkshake! In turn, we increase our calorie intake with more fat and sugar and then spoil our dinner when we get home.


What to do? Snacking can be a lifesaver in a busy, on-the-go lifestyle, but we need to be careful in choosing healthier snacks and not overdoing the quantity.


To start, here are a few important snacking tips:

  • Snacking should have a purpose. Snacking can help you avoid overeating, speed up your metabolism, get a boost of balanced energy, and manage your weight, but it can also add unnecessary calories if you are not paying attention. Make sure your current snacking habits have a healthy purpose!
  • Plan ahead. Preparation is key to healthy eating. Packaging your snacks in advance by using reusable containers, zip-lock bags and foil wrap can ensure you eat a healthy snack. 
  •  Read labels and control your portions. Looks can be deceiving! Read the nutrition facts label and ensure that each snack is approximately 150-200 calories.
One way to give your employees access to healthy snacks is to work with your vending company so that healthy options are available. If you would like assistance in creating a healthy vending policy, please contact psmelkinson@healthyhowardmd.org.  

Community Resources, Services and Events  

April Health Observances

Alcohol Awareness Month   www.ncadd.org   

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Month   www.aboutibs.org/site/about-ibs/april-ibs-awareness-month  

National Autism Awareness Month   www.autism-society.org  

National Child Abuse Prevention Month   www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth 

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month   www.nsc.org  

National Donate Life Month   www.organdonor.gov 

National Facial Protection Month   www.aaoms.org  

National Minority Health Month   www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov 

National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month   www.nationalsarcoidosisfriends.org  

Occupational Therapy Month   www.aota.org  

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month   www.rainn.org  

Sexual Assault Awareness Month of Action   www.nsvrc.org  

Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month   www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/injuries/index.cfm  

STI Awareness Month   www.ashastd.org  

Women's Eye Health and Safety Month   www.preventblindness.org  

April 6 - 12 National Public Health Week   www.nphw.org  

Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit
The American Heart Association's Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit was created to help organizations improve their food environment and promote a culture of health. It provides practical action steps and suggestions that are easy to understand and apply. To register for the Toolkit, please visit www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/WorkplaceWellness/WorkplaceWellnessResources/Healthy-Workplace-Food-and-Beverage-Toolkit_UCM_465195_Article.jsp 

  Maryland Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
offers valuable resources to help expand your employee wellness program. 
For more information please visit  http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/dpcp/SitePages/Home.aspx 

National Walking Day

Help your employees take steps toward a longer, healthier life. This fun wellness promotion gets people moving and educates about the importance of physical activity and heart health. For more information, visit www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Walking/National-Walking-Day_UCM_448665_Article.jsp 

 Southern Region Healthiest Maryland Businesses

Join the Southern Region's HMBs for a free workshop on topics including getting the most value from your health care dollars, getting a clear picture of the health of your workforce and its impact on your 

health care costs, and engaging your employees in health. Attendees will also hear from local businesses about their successes/challenges. The workshop is on April 24th from 8:30 AM - noon at Southern Maryland Association of Realtors located at 8440 Old Leardtown Rd, Suite 211, Hughesville, MD For more information and to register, please contact Angela Deal at angela.deal@maryland.gov.

Strong for Life can help you manage a health improvement plan for each employee. Contact Strong for Life to discuss programs that reach employees who do not normally take place in fitness and wellness activities. For more info please visit strongforlifecorporate.com or contact info@strongforlife.com.  

WomenFest is an interactive day focusing on health, wellness, fashion and beauty, featuring 90+ vendors and exhibitors, free health screenings and a special keynote presentation by Lynn Brick, President of Brick Bodies Fitness Services, Inc. WomenFest will be held  Saturday, April 25 at the  Glenwood 50+ Center, The  Gary J. Arthur Community Center,  2400 Route 97, Cooksville, MD 21723. For more information, visit 


WELCOA's (Wellness Council of America) Seven Benchmarks of Results-Oriented Workplace 

Wellness Programs is a great place to start when designing your wellness program. 

For this and other free resources, please visit www.welcoa.org