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Somerset School District receives state wellness award

The Somerset School District was one of three school districts in the state to be honored by Gov. Jim Doyle with a Governor's Worksite Wellness Award.

The award, designed by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Health, recognizes employers that promote a work environment that encourages and enables employees to improve their health and well-being.

Somerset, Amery and Milwaukee were the three school districts in the state honored by the governor. Somerset received a bronze award.

Applications were evaluated on criteria that included:

-- program infrastructure;

-- health education;

-- health screening and disease prevention and management;

-- physical activity and nutritional components;

-- tobacco use policies;

-- alcohol and drug policies.

In addition to the benefits to employees, a healthier worksite results in numerous benefits to the employer. Studies show that worksites which use an evidence-based wellness program experience decreased health care costs, increased employee productivity and increased morale.

Health care provider Dawn Spafford made the application for the school district. This was specific to programs that are done for the school staff. Each building in the district has fitness and wellness programs. There is a weight loss program in place. There is a nutritionist and personal trainer available. The middle school weight room is available to be used after school by staff members.

There is also a wellness group that meets weekly to discuss health related subjects.