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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

CommonHealth a benefit for all Tech employees

By Karen Cronin

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 31 - May 9, 1996

CommonHealth programs can help you feel better, look better, act better, and generally be healthier.

CommonHealth is a wellness program for all state employees and retirees. Full-time, part-time, faculty, staff, wage, or whatever, if you are paid by the state, you can participate in CommonHealth activities. All adult family members living in your home can participate, too.

Bridgit Mitchell is Virginia Tech's CommonHealth regional coordinator.

She says that when CommonHealth first started at Virginia Tech in 1992, participants had to become members, but this is no longer the case. CommonHealth programs, challenges, and free exercise classes are available to all. These programs focus on various aspects of health, including exercise and fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, smoking cessation, CPR training, weight control, aging, preventive care, and safety.

CommonHealth exercise classes are available at no charge and many of the challenges reward those who complete them with incentives such as sports towels, thermal mugs, socks, and water bottles.

Another major CommonHealth benefit is the medical screening, which is available every two years. Participants fill out a lifestyle questionnaire and have blood tests which measure cholesterol levels (HDL and LDL), triglycerides, and glucose. The cost of the confidential screening is just $5 for individuals or $7 for all adult members of the family. In addition to the results of these tests and appraisals (which provide about $200 worth of valuable health information), all those who go through the medical screening this year will receive a purple CommonHealth T-shirt.

The process for the medical screening/lifestyle appraisal begins with employee meetings. The meetings last about an hour and employees may attend during work time.

All employees will receive an invitation to attend an employee meeting to be held beginning in mid-May. At the meetings, employees will be able to make appointments for the medical screenings, which will be held beginning in June.

You can find out more about current CommonHealth programs via computer. From the Virginia Tech home page, select General Information. Then select Faculty and Staff Information and the CommonHealth Information and Newsletters (http://www.vt.edu/ commonhealth/index.html). You can also call Mitchell at 1-4806.

Look for CommonHealth at Staff Appreciation Day on May 16.