Did you know that among San Diego County adults, 27% have high blood pressure, 22% are obese, and 13% are smokers? Health concerns like these contribute to chronic disease – chronic disease which in 2010 cost a staggering $4.6 billion in health care costs in San Diego County. Those numbers impact San Diego County employers in many ways, including their bottom line. The good news is that comprehensive worksite wellness programs make good business sense, while making a positive and often lasting impact on employee health and more.
Recognized as the first Live Well San Diego business partner in April 2013, Northgate Gonzalez Markets, are taking action to reduce these statistics by creating healthier workplace environments for their employees and community. In this spirit, Northgate Markets will once again serve as Love Your Heart screening sites, where free blood pressure screenings will be offered on February 13 to residents throughout San Diego County. Moreover, in 2009, Northgate Market launched Viva la Salud (Celebrate Health) – a program which seeks to promote optimal health and wellness to Northgate employees, customers and the community through in-store events including health screenings and nutrition classes.
“Viva la Salud empowers our employees and customers to become educated on health and wellness by bringing resources and screenings to aid with the prevention of chronic disease, helping to offer healthy lifestyle choices, and encouraging regular exercise,” says Teresa Blanco, Wellness Program Manager for Northgate Gonzalez Markets.
In an effort to continue to focus on employee health, Viva la Salud will be offering new opportunities for employees to lead a healthy life.
“This year, we are kicking off our wellness program for employees in January with free biometric screenings so that everyone will know their numbers,” says Evelyn Gonzalez, Wellness Supervisor for Northgate Gonzalez Markets.
Following biometric screenings in January, employees can join the Love Your Heart campaign on February 13 by receiving a free blood pressure screening as well as health education materials from the American Heart Association and a healthy spa water taste test and recipe.
In 2014, Northgate hosted a successful screening site at their store location in City Heights in partnership with the UC San Diego-Center for Community Health Worksite and Retail programs, San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA), and the Central Region Public Health Nurses. Both employees and customers received free screenings to empower them in knowing their numbers.
“Northgate Gonzalez Markets is proud to support the efforts of Love Your Heart events by helping create awareness of blood pressure for both our community and coworkers. Events like this one are a true win-win for all,” says Blanco.
Through their innovative and inclusive wellness initiatives, Northgate has become a nationally and locally recognized leader in bringing healthful foods to low-income communities. Northgate received the Central Region Public Health Champion Award by the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) and continues to collaborate closely with HHSA and other community organizations to support health promotion efforts.
Northgate continues to champion community-driven efforts to advance the health of San Diego residents across the county.