Supplement Article  |   March 2010
Taking health seriously
Article Information
Cardiovascular Disorders / Endocrinology / Preventive Medicine / Diabetes
Supplement Article   |   March 2010
Taking health seriously
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2010, Vol. 110, eSii. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2010, Vol. 110, eSii. doi:

“At the AOA, we take health seriously.”

At the AOA, we take health seriously. Our tagline, “Treating Our Family and Yours,” reflects the importance placed on maintaining health in all aspects of the AOA—relationships among affiliates, financial operations, accrediting and certifying bodies, staff morale and much more. 
DOs, through their education, training and experience, know the importance of treating the whole patient to prevent illness and promote health. As this issue details, patients may be able to avoid prediabetes and its associated cardiometabolic risk factors through prevention. We took a cue from this preventative focus and started a program to help AOA staff prevent illness and get healthier—the AOA Family Fitness Program. 
The Family Fitness Program was created in 2006 to incentivize staff to make or adopt healthy habits. Staff members received pedometers to measure their steps, and they were given an extra 15 minutes at lunch to get some cardiovascular exercise by taking a walk. Smoking cessation and weight loss programs were offered. In addition, we replaced some of the sugary, carbohydrate-loaded candy and chips in our vending machines with heart-healthy, whole-grain snacks, labeled as “fit picks,” to help staff make smarter eating choices. Allowing staff to wear sneakers one day each month and offering discounted membership rates to local health clubs further encouraged staff members to become “fit for life.” 
Through all of these efforts, the AOA demonstrated a commitment to our staff “family”—caring about not just their health today, but for many years to come. As a result of our efforts, Aetna, our health insurer, lowered employees' health insurance premiums by 2%, showing that healthy habits pay off—in more ways than one! 
Most of all, I hope the Family Fitness Program helps at least one staff member gain habits that will last long into the future, helping him or her prevent avoidable risks like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more. With DOs as our role models, we can DO it!