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OUSD Receives Workplace Health Achievement Recognition
Posted 11/8/19

Workplace health achievement logoOceanside Unified School District achieved bronze Workplace Health Achievement recognition from the American Heart Association for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace.


The Workplace Health Achievement Index allows organizations to self-assess their health programs and be recognized for strategic efforts to promote holistic employee health. The Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs. Results were announced on October 21, 2019, giving OUSD bronze recognition for the second year in a row. 


Partnered with California Schools Voluntary Employee Benefits Association (VEBA) and Keenan & Associates, the Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD) Health and Wellness Champions (HAWC) committee (comprised of the Insurance Department and employee volunteers) has developed a wellness program to encourage and promote healthy, active lives.


“You know that when you come to Oceanside, you’re going to be in a happy, healthy workplace,” said Sarah Vermillion, Benefits Manager for OUSD.


Programs that have contributed to the district’s high score include wellness classes, an annual health fair and a monthly newsletter that keeps employees connected with all the benefits offered them, such as corporate fitness discounts and events.


Vermillion said one special program that has helped shape the culture at OUSD is an 8-week “Feel Like a Million” challenge. During that time, employees track habits like how much water they are drinking or their minutes of mindful meditation and are invited to attend cooking demonstrations and other classes at sites around the district. Staff hold award at board meeting


Since then, habits have spilled into the whole school year, as staff members have started walking groups and other efforts to stay healthy and active.


“It really brought people together because it was a team-based challenge,” Vermillion said. 


 Studies show that worksites with a culture of health with comprehensive, evidence-based policies and programs, and senior leadership support are more likely to have engaged employees and a healthier, more productive workforce.


Staff were excited to be presented with the Bronze recognition at the Nov. 12 Board of Education meeting at Chavez Middle School.