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Dominican Hospital Recognized as American Heart Association Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite


Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been recognized for the fourth consecutive year as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association, the highest recognition possible, for helping employees eat better and move more. 

“Our employees are often so busy taking care of others, that it’s difficult to make their own health and wellness a priority,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD. “We work hard to provide our staff with a fun and varied wellness program that makes it easy to integrate healthier choices into their daily lives.”

To become a Platinum Fit-Friendly Worksite, Dominican met several criteria related to promoting a culture of wellness, including:

  • Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
  • Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition, and culture.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

Some of the wellness activities available to Dominican employees include:

  • Free exercise classes, employee-led hiking and biking clubs, fitness and meditation challenges, and the flagship CORE (Commit, Optimize, Renew, Empower) program, which combines highintensity interval training with education about stress management and healthy eating habits. 
  • With the help of registered dietitians, Dominican has worked hard to include nutritious options in its café, including produce from the hospital’s certified organic garden and from local vendors such as Watsonville Coast Produce. 
  • Online team wellness challenges bring employees together in healthy competition to change diet and exercise behaviors. 
  • Discounts on gym memberships and reimbursement for wellness activities outside the workplace.  

More than 75 percent of Dominican’s employees have participated in the hospital’s employee wellness programs. Participants consistently report higher levels of fitness and motivation to adopt healthy habits. Recent CORE program participants reported an average 12 percent increase in aerobic capacity and an 8 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure. 

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year due to health care expenses and healthrelated losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. The American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites position employee health and well-being as a priority. For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, visit heart.org/worksitewellness.

About Dominican Hospital 

Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has been caring for the Santa Cruz County community for more than 70 years. Dominican offers emergency services and is a Certified Stroke Center and Chest Pain Center.

Dominican’s services include the only comprehensive Cancer Center in Santa Cruz County, a Total Joint Replacement program, advanced neurological and endoscopic services, and an expert heart and vascular team treating some of the most complex cardiac cases in the Monterey Bay area. Dominican regularly receives ‘A’ grades for hospital safety from Leapfrog Group, and has received national recognition for superior patient safety, cardiac care, and stroke treatment from Healthgrades, a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Dominican also has received several awards for environmental excellence.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Our mission drives everything we do. To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide public health education in a variety of ways. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.