Earlier this year, Balanced You put out the call and several King County employees put on their capes and swooped in to become a part of a “superhero team of Health Heroes” known as the Healthy Employee Advisory Team (HEAT).
Inquiring minds want to know – what is HEAT?
HEAT is a group of over 20 employees who represent the County’s different departments, divisions, and agencies. This diverse group of employee volunteers have a shared interest in joining with colleagues to help improve access to health and well-being resources for employees across the County using an equity-informed approach.
HEAT’s role is to advise and help shape the first year of Balanced You by making recommendations, sharing information and concerns from colleagues, generating ideas for future programs and activities, and providing feedback regarding Balanced You .
Making a difference
HEAT volunteers spend a couple of hours a month to gather and discuss ways to support programs and communications about Balanced You. Most recently, HEAT took an in-depth look at Balanced You programs, who the programs are offered to, history of how the program came about, and how equity and access can be increased. The team has also been influential in providing insight through personal experiences and general feedback from co-workers.
HEAT team member Gregory Francis says it was important for him to be a part of the team to help his fellow employees, “I like helping people and being a part of the solution. And I saw this as a learning opportunity,” said Francis. Although meeting every month can be challenging, like many on the team he attributes his continued participation for personal reasons. A King County Transit Operator for almost two years and ten years as an operator in New York City, Francis doesn’t want to become a statistic, “I’ve seen the statistics on the health of transit operators and I refuse to become one,” he continued.
HEAT is slated to continue meeting through November of 2018. Towards the end of the period, a discussion will take place regarding the group’s future. For more information on the Healthy Employee Advisory Team, contact Balanced You at BalancedYou@kingcounty.gov or 206-263-9626.
OK so if we are really supporting getting healthy, let’s also champion one of the long-standing fabulous ways King County has already shown their support – WW (also known as Weight Watchers) at work meetings have been an integral part of helping folks lose weight and keep it off. We have at work meetings in a few of the downtown buildings. Check them out!