APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Healthy Challenge

California – Both staff and management at Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) – a wellness agency that delivers more than 70 preventive health programs and services to 120,000 residents in the Southern California coastal communities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach – really walk the walk. In creating its Thrive to 5 Challenge, BCHD got co-workers moving while giving them plenty of food for thought.

Representatives from each department formed an Employee Wellness Committee with the specific mission to “improve overall well-being by encouraging our team to thrive and have fun!” The Thrive to 5 Challenge motivated employees to complete at least five wellness activities in a three-month period as well as bond with fellow co-workers who have similar interests:

  • Physical Well-Being: Maintain a healthy body weight with good nutrition and regular exercise, make informed decisions about health and seek medical assistance when necessary.
  • Emotional Well-Being/Personal: Understand and adequately cope with life challenges by fostering optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance and the ability to share feelings.
  • Emotional Well-Being/Social: Successfully interact with people and establish supportive social networks through meaningful relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
  • BCHD Activity: Participate in activities such as employee exercise classes, onsite gardening club, walking groups and BCHD-sponsored events such as the yogurt social, Food Fest potluck and holiday brunch.
  • Personal Goal: Accomplish one personal “bucket list” goal. Examples might be taking a cross-country trip, paddleboarding on the Pacific Ocean or learning how to salsa dance.

Each day during the challenge when they walked into the office, the first thing staff saw was a “wellness board” that listed their own progress as well as that of their peers – concrete examples of company-wide encouragement. In a recent survey, 100 percent of BCHD employees said they feel supported in their efforts to be healthier.

"This is not pie in the sky; this is about the bottom line. Building psychologically healthy workplaces isn't just the right thing to do, it's also the smart thing to do."

The Honorable Alexis M. Herman
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor