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Capital Area Community Services, Inc. - Head Start Launches Wellness Culture Plan With Cooper & Partners

EAST LANSING, Mich., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Karen Surdenik, President of Cooper & Partners, announced they have launched a wellness development plan for C.A.C.S. - Head Start.  Surdenik stated, "Our philosophy of employee health change is focused on culture, culture assessment with a process to measure the state of the cultural environment for Head Start.  The foundation of the culture analysis is an online survey that provides staff feedback on the state of the cultural environment, how well it supports wellness and healthy lifestyles. The Head Start staff of 300 will complete the survey and then the organization receives an overall report and recommendations, to provide guidance on wellness practices and programs."

Additional input from the staff will occur with qualitative input during focus groups.  This phase of the research provides insight into what might be effective for new programs, what the personal goals of the staff are, and how the organization can best support those goals. 

Surdenik stated, "The culture-based approach to helping organizations develop cultures of wellness has a thirty-year track record of delivering outstanding organizational results."  It was first developed to assist Coca-Cola when they bought Minute Maid Orange Juice and realized they needed to create a healthy culture for migrant workers.  Since that time, more than 1,000 organizations and companies have used the culture-based approach to advance their wellness programs.

Cooper & Partners works with Judd Allen, President of the Human Resources Institute in developing and executing the surveys, along with feedback on analysis and recommendations.  Surdenik reported, "Based on a 2010 study of 300 companies nationally, those organizations using principles similar to our 'theory of change' reported higher improvements in health behavior 66% versus 26% using different strategies.  And 50% reported a net positive impact on medical trends versus only 14% with a different strategy. These reported results do not even touch on the quantifiable improvements in staff productivity, engagement and retention."

Teresa Spitzer, R.N., Health Programs Manager with Head Start stated, "We will benefit in several key areas when our culture assessment is completed. First, we will gain invaluable insight and direction for our ongoing workplace wellness programs.  In addition, the data from the cultural analysis will be beneficial in any future grant applications for wellness programming, and be an asset as Healthcare Reform policies develop."

For further information contact: Karen Surdenik | 517.333.3321


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