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What is the Wellness program?

The Scantic Valley Regional Health Trust established a Wellness Program in 2008 to help employees improve their health through preventive screenings, physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco cessation and stress reduction.  The main goal of this comprehensive wellness program is to promote well-being through a healthy lifestyle and to reduce employee health risk.  All municipal employees, retirees, and insured family members who have health insurance through the Trust are encouraged to participate in wellness activities.  Other family members and friends are welcome to participate, but will be ineligible for any incentives offered.
SVRHT Wellness Subcommittee            
Arlene Miller
Town of Longmeadow
Tom Sullivan
Town of Wilbraham

Regional Wellness Coordinator

Please send any correspondence to:
Marcy Morrison
SVRHT Wellness Program
240 Springfield Street
Wilbraham, MA 01095

(617) 431-6651

Click to view Press Release

Below is an outline of the key elements of our wellness program.


Quitting smoking now is the single best thing you can do for your health.

Smoking harms almost every organ in your body and is a known cause of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many respiratory illnesses. Smoking causes many diseases that can make you disabled and dependent on other people. See more about smoking affects your health.

But quitting smoking now can reverse much of the damage. When you quit, you’ll notice a difference right away. You can taste and smell food better. Your cough goes away. Even if you already have a disease or condition caused by smoking, you will notice a positive change. Quitting improves your health, no matter how long you have smoked. See more about the benefits of quitting.

You can quit smoking.

Electronic Cigarettes-
Not a safe way to light up


Stop Smoking Resources

 Take Charge- 10 Ways to Cope with Emotions Without Cigarettes

 http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/ www.quitnow.net
www.nicotine-anonymous.org www.smokefree.gov
www.quitsmokingsupport.com www.cdc.gov/tobacco


You are what you eat.  Literally!  In recent years it has become more and more evident that what we put into our bodies really matters.  What we eat can make the difference between having energy to power through your day or wanting to crawl back into bed.

Everyone has different needs and recommendations based on their health history, heredity, current disease state and activity levels.  It is a good idea to discuss your individual needs with your physician and/or a registered dietitian.  Having said this, there are some things that may benefit everyone:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables in a wide variety of colors (especially dark leafy greens and berries)

  • Increasing plant-based protein foods (dried beans, peas and legumes)

  • Choosing heart-healthy fats such as canola and olive oil

  • Adding a source of omega-3 oils to your diet (fish, flax seed)

  • Zero tolerance for trans-fats (partially hydrogenated fats found in margarine and baked goods)

  • Eliminating foods and drinks with added sugars

There have been countless recommendations to eliminate what is deemed “bad” from our diets.  One decade it was fat, the next it was carbs.  Many more are sure to come.  Today, with all of the current research, most nutrition experts are echoing the same message--instead of eliminating entire food groups, we should be choosing the healthiest option from each.  This is not a fad; it is a lifestyle change that should happen gradually over time.  Make one change and stick with it.  When that is second nature, it’s time to change something else for the better and stick to that also.  The more positive changes you make, the more your body will crave the newer, healthier option, and the more you will want to fuel your body for the better.  It’s an amazing thing!

Please read important take-away messages from the NEW 2015 Dietary Guidelines that were recently published.

Physical Activity

Adults who are physically active are healthier and less likely to develop many chronic diseases than adults who aren’t active — regardless of their gender or ethnicity.

Avoid Inactivity

Some physical activity is better than none — and any amount has health benefits.

Do Aerobic Activity

For substantial health benefits, do one of the following:

  • 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as brisk walking or tennis)

  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as jogging or swimming laps)

  • An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity

Do aerobic physical activity in episodes of at least 10 minutes and, if possible, spread it out through the week.

For even greater health benefits, do one of the following:

  • Increase moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) each week

  • Increase vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week Doing more will lead to even greater health benefits.

Strengthen Muscles
Do muscle-strengthening activities (such as lifting weights or using resistance bands) that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

Taken from http://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/adults.aspx, retrieved 1/27/16.

Read the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to obtain additional information.

Preventive Screenings

A variety of factors (age, sex, family history, health status) dictates which preventative screenings are appropriate for each of us.  The results of such screenings then determine how often we need to have the screening repeated. 

One such test is the colonoscopy.  If a person has no gastrointestinal (G.I.) problems or issues, a colonoscopy is recommended at age 50; if everything checks out, you have 10 years until the next one!  Polyps or other findings would require a repeat colonoscopy in a shorter time period.  Although the preparation for a colonoscopy is rather unpleasant, it is certainly worth it—removing polyps during the procedure prevents them from developing into cancer.

The Wellness Program offers an incentive program for having your colonoscopy done.  Please see the “Benefits and Incentives” page for more information.

Please read this article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about recommended screenings for adults.

Stress Management

Stress.  The word itself can cause stress!  Many life events are stressful.  There are daily stressors (work, parenting, bills), and episodic stressors that can be short-lived or prolonged (death of a loved one, accidents, divorce, sickness).  We all have different ways of handling and dealing with stress.  Are you someone who can brush-off stressful events, or are you more likely to lose sleep, worry and/or try to eat your way through it?  Life is stressful; how we cope with it can make all the difference.

People from previous generations have said that life seems much more stressful than when they were “our age.”  That seems to be the consensus in today’s society, as more research is being done and more attention is being paid to the ill-effects that stress can cause.  Practices such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and tai-chi, among others, are becoming more mainstream. 

Have you ever met someone who has (in your mind) major stressors and doesn’t seem affected by them?  They accept what comes their way and continue to live their life with joy and even gusto!  How do they do it? Clearly, some people are more gifted at actually handling stress in a more productive, less destructive way.

The following links explain the harsh effects that stress can place on us and suggestions for dealing with it:

Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior
Stress Management


Diabetes Care