As Healthy St. Pete continues its quest to create a healthier tomorrow for the city and its residents, program organizers want to highlight the organizations helping make that dream a reality.
Healthy St. Pete, a city-sponsored initiative under the parks and recreation department, hosts its Healthier Together Workshop and Awards ceremony Friday (April 29) at 10 a.m. Held at Bayfront Health St Petersburg, the public event highlights the program’s 2022 Healthier Together certified partners.
Christie Bruner, community engagement supervisor for Healthy St. Pete, stressed community involvement drives the program, and the goal is to elevate the existing resources available in the city.
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “We want to shine a light on all of those subject matter experts that are already doing so many things – and to really be proactive in the approach to wellness and health.”
One of the ways the organization hopes to transform wellness from a reactive to a proactive approach is through its Healthier Together Certifications. Bruner said program organizers spent two years developing the assessment and adjoining certification. Using the Centers for Disease Control, American Heart Association and other regional certifications as a model, Healthy St Pete created the assessment tool to measure employee health, wellness and civic engagement.
Bruner said Healthy St. Pete put a “St Petersburg spin” on its evaluation tool, incorporating civic engagement and emphasizing community and outward-facing wellness.
“We really worked on highlighting different things that organizations specific to St. Petersburg would be able to access – like the assets in our parks and recreation department and our programs within Healthy St. Pete,” she said. “But then also, our organizations telling their members, clients and families about city council meetings or the St. Pete 2050 plan coming up …”
Bruner said the assessment only takes a few minutes to complete and is followed by a report from Healthy St. Pete, grading the responses. For example, if an organization scored 15 out of 40 possible points in the healthy behaviors category, it could access the accompanying resource library to ascertain ways of improving the score.
The online library features both hyperlocal and national resources on a myriad of topics, said Bruner. She relayed that she recently received positive feedback from an area small business that incorporated cultural competency curriculum into employee training – something not considered until the owners saw it in the resource library.
“And actually, we’ve had some really great results,” she added.
Bruner noted that three organizations certified in 2021 retook the assessment and improved upon their scores. Healthy St. Pete will award one for moving up to the next level of its ranking system this year. The initiative ranks its community partners on a scale from bronze to platinum.
“That’s really the goal of the program,” said Bruner. “For organizations to be able to use this assessment as part of their strategic planning to be able to consistently improve what they’re doing.”
Bruner explained the assessment offers around 150 total points. Bronze is 30 points; silver is 45, and gold is for a score of 60. She said Healthy St. Pete added a platinum category “because we had a lot of high performing organizations.”
Organizations receive the most points if they provide a dedicated wellness coordinator because Healthy St. Pete believes establishing that position is integral for the success of wellness programs. Bruner said other questions focus on topics like providing social activities outside of the workplace, building a sense of community and providing employees with health-related information and resources.
Showcasing the organizations putting in the work to create a healthier and more vibrant city at events like the upcoming awards ceremony, Bruner added, is vital to the program’s success. She hopes the organizations already focused on wellness will serve as a model for those not typically associated with health and fitness.
“We really want to challenge other organizations that might not be inherently wellness-focused to also know that they are impacting wellness,” said Bruner. “Based on what they provide their employees, their employees’ families and the community that surrounds that business.”
These are the 2022 Healthier Together award winners:
- Power Design, Inc.
- Mel Zuberi, PLLC
- Replenish Thyself, LLC
- University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus Recreation
- Seniors in Service
- The Body Athletic Yoga & Athletic Companies
- Cypress Wellness Center
- Holiday Park Neighborhood Association
- ISI Elite Training
- Osborn Engineering
- The St. Pete Youth Farm
- The Well for Life
- Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative
- The Allen Way Studio
- Head 2 Toe Pediatrics, PLLC
- The St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts
- Our Children Have Rights
- Performance Sports Physio
- The Pilates School, LLC
- Sunshine City Counseling