North Carolina AHEC Program
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SEAHEC in Motion

In June 2010, South East Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) embarked on a journey across America. A new wellness program, aptly named SEAHEC in Motion, has inspired SEAHEC employees to step into healthier lifestyles at home and at work. Because this is SEAHEC’s first wellness program, it was decided to choose a campaign that would allow employees to document their progress, set personal goals, and demonstrate to SEAHEC's health insurer that they are committed to controlling their health care costs.

SEAHEC employees

SEAHEC in Motion is a contest which has employees walking, running, and biking from the Battleship Memorial in Wilmington, North Carolina to the Western American Railroad Museum in Barstow, California. The route zig zags across the country to seven different milestones and is a total of 3,703 miles. The program has attracted 95% participation from SEAHEC employees, residents, and volunteers.

Here is how it works: Employees are walking in teams along a “virtual” route and are given weekly helpful health tips, exercise advice, and health-related resources. Team members wear pedometers, donated by SEAHEC health insurer United HealthCare, to track their daily steps (2,000 steps equals a mile). Each week, team miles are gathered and ranked with the top three individual “steppers” recognized. The teams that reach the milestones and ultimately the finish line first, win incentive gifts donated by SEAHEC and United HealthCare. SEAHEC has 15 teams and the competition is fierce but FUN.

SEAHEC in Motion Map

SEAHEC CEO Mark Darrow, MD, FACP, states, “Administration at SEAHEC has embraced our wellness program proactively. In cooperation with United HealthCare, we are proud to be able to offer these activities to our employees as we know it will benefit them all with a richer and healthier life style.” Darrow sets the ultimate example for SEAHEC employees and can be seen walking from the administrative building to the hospital and the University Physicians practice several times a day. Darrow also parks at the deepest end of the SEAHEC parking lot to accumulate extra steps.

The employees of SEAHEC have a long way to go to reach Barstow, California and many lessons to learn along the way. With a little competition and a whole lot of teamwork, they hope to use SEAHEC in Motion to improve employee’s physical, mental, and emotional wellness one step at a time.