Taking up the challenge for a healthy start to 2020

Participants get moving for the fitness challenge at Donald Berman Maimonides. From left: Daniel Pellerin, Head Nurse, 7th floor; Ivo Ivanov, Head Nurse, 6th floor; Abir El-Helou, Dietitian; and Brenda Barbalat (front, at right), Administrative Technician
Participants get moving for the fitness challenge at Donald Berman Maimonides. From left: Daniel Pellerin, Head Nurse, 7th floor; Ivo Ivanov, Head Nurse, 6th floor; Abir El-Helou, Dietitian; and Brenda Barbalat (front, at right), Administrative Technician

More than 800 participants kicked off 2020 with healthy new habits by taking part in our CIUSSS’s fitness and wellness challenge. It was the highest participation ever for a non-work program in our healthcare network!

From groups of colleagues at Maimonides to individual efforts at Catherine Booth Hospital and the Jewish General Hospital, participants encouraged one another to begin the New Year in shape.

Commit2BFit
Commit 2B Fit

It was part of Commit 2B Fit, a free online program from the Human Resources Employee Engagement and Recognition team. Launched November 20 and available to everyone across the CIUSSS, the six-week program offered step-by-step tips and support for health and wellness.

Participants could also join the group’s private Facebook page, where they got online encouragement from participants in all sites within the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal.

“I did the program alone but I felt like I was part of a group. It’s motivating,” says Donna Claridge, an Administrative Assistant at the Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre. She says the program left her feeling better and stronger. “It’s a great initiative. We need more positive things in our lives.”

Francine Levi, co-chair of the Human Resources Employee Engagement and Recognition team, said the program grew from feedback indicating that people in our CIUSSS welcomed initiatives to promote health and wellness.

“Our employees work so hard, day in and day out,” Ms. Levi says. “They deserve to take good care of themselves, because they take such good care of others.”

Participants shared their experiences on the group’s Facebook page. Their comments were a testament to their determination.

“Day 6 done and feeling all the energy to start this week right!” wrote Mia, a participant from our CIUSSS.

“So far so good,” wrote Paul. “Great way to finally take my 15-minute afternoon break at the office. And great way to encourage each other. Thanks.”

At Donald Berman Maimonides, a group of employees got together in a hallway for sit-ups, push-ups, squats — and camaraderie. “It got us up and moving,” says Administrative Technician Brenda Barbalat. “It was a break and we felt invigorated. We were into it.”

“It’s been great,” says Deborah Wick, an Administrative Assistant at CLSC Benny Farm. “There was strength in numbers even though we were doing the program separately.”

Participants who completed a daily challenge could also enter their names in draws online for weekly prizes. They included gift cards from Sports Experts Rockland, as well as water bottles and two tickets to the Rogers Cup, compliments of Grace Lutfy Investment Group – CIBC Wood Gundy.

Based on the popularity of the Commit 2B Fit 6 Week Challenge, Human Resources says it is ready to look at other health and wellness initiatives for the CIUSSS. People are invited to send in their ideas to: engagement.ccomtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca.

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