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We Walked To Paris

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On Valentine’s Day, North Shore-LIJ announced a challenge for all employees.  Form teams and walk the 7.2 million steps it would take to reach Paris from New York, and those that cross the “finish line” will be entered into a drawing where the winning prize is a trip for all of the team members to Paris, France.

The challenge was accepted! An unprecedented 15,000 employees participated in the Walk to Paris – forming teams, walking at least 8,000 steps every day, and having a great time doing it. Read Newsday’s coverage of our employees on the Walk to Paris.

The challenge ended in late June, and the eagerly anticipated closing ceremonies and Winner’s Drawing took place on June 18th at the Crest Hollow Country Club. Over 1,000 Team Captains and wellness champions enjoyed a French-themed breakfast and were on hand to see who would win the prize. The events were telecast live, for all the employees who couldn’t make it to the party.

Congratulations to Teams Walka Walka Walka, Microbiologie Marche A’ Paris, Champs-Elysees and Twinkle Toes.

North Shore-LIJ President and CEO Michael Dowling surprised everyone by not drawing just one winning team, but four grand prize winners!! Forty North Shore-LIJ employees have just won all-expenses paid trip to the City of Light.

Chock full of surprises, Mr. Dowling also drew the names of ten more teams to win the second-prize of an assortment of wellness-related choices, including personal chefs, day trips to a spa and gym memberships.

Much of the feedback from those who participated was the impact the walking made on the overall health of employees and their families.

Mr. Dowling noted in his speech:

•    Eileen Marcel, a nurse at Syosset Hospital from team “Pain Pacers,” has been a diabetic for about 15 years.  Since she started walking in this challenge, she significantly lowered her blood sugar levels, and as a result, has been able to decrease her diabetes medication.

•    Monica McGuire, an employee at Forest Hills Hospital from team “HIMnotics,” lost 10 pounds as a result of the Walk to Paris.  Her success  has motivated her family to join a gym and start eating healthier.

•    Andrea Noad in Patient Financial Services lost two dress sizes. She discovered that her new summer dresses which she bought at the end of the season last year were too loose to wear after she participated in the Walk to Paris. She and teammate Cynthia Harvey-Williams attributed their success to walking up the hill from 400 Lakeville Road to the North Shore Towers twice a day.

Walk to Paris is part of a commitment that North Shore-LIJ has made to employee wellness.

“The whole idea emanated from a large package of services that have to promote wellness, like anti-smoking campaigns, getting to know your numbers…gym memberships, Weight Watchers, etc.”

And judging by the overwhelming participation in Walk to Paris — wellness is catching on. “You could see from what was going on in the audience that it was highly motivating, people were excited about it, and people now are just doing this anyway because they are in the habit of walking and exercising and they are continuing to do it.” Mr. Dowling said. “And it’s all about wellness.”

Mr. Dowling noted that wellness is part of the health reform movement. “This is part of the whole effort that the supreme court dealt with,” Mr. Dowling said. “How do you get people to get healthier and do it on an ongoing consistent basis. As a health care organization we have the obligation to do it more than anybody else because that’s the business we are in.”

Learn more about how North Shore-LIJ is transforming careers and lives.

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