Scarborough, Tobago (October 19th , 2018): Staff of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) at the Canaan Health Centre (CHC) took charge of their health in April 2018 when they mounted “The Biggest Loser” programme, in collaboration with the TRHA’s Primary Care Nutrition Unit. Six months later, the biggest loser, Kelly St. Clair, was the biggest winner.
Kelly, a Health Attendant, lost 24 lbs. during the period to emerge with a Cash Prize. In total, the 11 participants who stayed the course lost 93.5 lbs. In second place was Petra McLetchie, a Customer Service Representative, who lost 17 lbs. Petra received a Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort Dinner Voucher for 2 and a Hamper. Environmental Worker, Denise Scotland, ENA Sharon Heath and Clerical Assistant, Sherry Broomes-Brooks, took home the 3 rd, 4th and 5th prizes of a Magic Bullet, Scale and Hamper, respectively. They received their reward on October 17th , 2018 at the CHC. Prizes were donated by the TRHA Nutrition Unit, a friend of the Unit from the U.S.A. and other staffers.
The objectives of the programme were: 1) To promote healthy workplace habits 2) To promote healthier lifestyles 3) To encourage teamwork, and 4) To portray healthy role models to colleagues and clients. The programme included five components – Nutritional Assessment, Medical Assessment and Consultation (by TRHA’s very own Doctors), Physical Activity, Gardening and Health Education. It began during Health Promotion Month (April) and ended during Caribbean Wellness Month (September). Of the 41 CHC staff members, 27 showed interest and 11 completed the programme.
The brainchild of the programme and key motivating force behind the physical activity was DHV Debra CookWarner. Nurse Cook-Warner, along with Cindy Taylor, RN/Midwife, and Javon Carrington of Dosfit Studios, were the exercise instructors. Senior DHV, Theresa Britto-Williams, said the programme was an eye-opener for all involved.
“Prior to embarking on this initiative, we all had to complete a Medical assessment and some of us were walking around with our ‘numbers’ sky high and did not know. This tells us how important exercise is, how important it is to read our labels and to pay attention to our BMI and the things that we are eating. It built greater awareness and reemphasized what a healthy diet is all about. The road was not an easy one but we were not daunted. Health is our business and it is our responsibility as well as yours. Let’s take charge of our health and conquer the dragon of lifestyle diseases,” said Mrs. Britto-Williams, as she addressed staff and clients during the presentation ceremony.
Mrs. Britto-Williams, herself, dropped two dress sizes over the six-month period and hopes that the programme can be rolled out throughout the TRHA network.