Petaluma Health Care District’s vision is to create a healthier community, and its managers believe this begins with modeling healthy food and activity choices in the workplace.
“Healthy employees are more resilient when it comes to dealing with stress, have greater productivity and fewer sick days,” said CEO Ramona Faith, “Our objective is to cultivate and nurture an environment where health and wellness are a way of life embraced by all of our employees, and then share these beliefs and behaviors with members of the community.”
PCHD’s goal has been to create a HeartSafe community, the only program of its kind in the county, offering automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and training to help those affected by sudden cardiac arrest in cooperation with partner firms, such as Arrow Benefits Group.
After the fires, staff members noticed some people were more stressed. PCHD conducted debriefings to determine the cause, including teamwork building and support from others, and offered access to outside support when needed.
Knowing that heart disease, also known as sudden cardiac arrest, is the number one cause of death in the workplace and in the U.S., all PHCD employees are CPR trained and certified, and have access to an AED unit in the office with updated pads and batteries.
“Our HeartSafe Business program saves lives,” said Ruth Wells, executive assistant to the CEO and board clerk. “Recently an employee of a HeartSafe Business in Petaluma who received PHCD’s CPR training at his workplace saved his spouse’s life when she fell victim to sudden cardiac arrest.”
PHCD also offers a Spanish language AED course.
Every employee participates in one or more health and wellness community event either sponsored by, promoted or supported by PHCD including Petaluma Walking Day, Sonoma County Heart Walk, Sonoma County Kids Gran Fondo, and similar walks, runs, bike races and fundraisers. Furthermore, many employees take walk breaks and have personal fitness routines that include swimming, walking, running, marital arts, yoga and Pilates. Brown bag lunches are also held featuring Tai Chi and other topics.
This year the PHCD office staff completed a six-week activity challenge in cooperation with St. Joseph Health. The team logged more than 700,000 steps and finished in 8th place.
The district periodically hosts healthy staff potluck lunches and invites speakers to talk about fresh ideas and information on topics addressing nutritional, emotional and physical health.
The Employees Club provides healthy snacks in the break room, such as nuts, fruit, whole-grain crackers, hummus, crudité and cheese.
Petaluma Health Care District
1425 N. McDowell blvd.
Five-time winner of Healthiest Companies in the North Bay