The Insider: Employees bond through health goals

January 10, 2014 8:45 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

Tulane employee Deborah Grimm has a busy life that leaves little time for thinking healthy. Fortunately, Grimm and more than 100 other employees found that time last semester when TUWellness hosted the Weight Watchers at Work program. The spring semester program kicks off on Monday (Jan. 13).


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As assistant director of the Coordinated Instrumentation Facility at Tulane, Grimm assists students and researchers in the use of shared laboratory equipment within the School of Science and Engineering.

For 17 weeks, Grimm attended lunch-hour Weight Watchers meetings that taught her to make better food and lifestyle choices.

“The weekly meetings were great. Everyone was sincere and open to each others’ experiences,” says Grimm. “While everyone had their bad days, the meetings encouraged us to reset and start again.”

Weight Watchers at Work follows a point-based food tracking system. Support is provided through weekly meetings where the focus is on nutritional counseling and increasing physical activity.

Lindsay Garcia, employee wellness coordinator for Tulane University, says that last semester’s participants lost a total of 1,257 pounds.

“The meetings bring an aspect of accountability, and the more dedicated you are to the routine, the better your results will be,” says Garcia. “It’s also important to be healthy because healthcare is expensive. The more we can do to stay healthy, the more we can save on medical bills in the future.”

Information sessions for interested employees will be held at the following locations:

· Primate Center: Monday (Jan. 13) 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Administrative Building Auditorium

· Uptown: Wednesday (Jan. 15), 12 p.m.-1 p.m., Caroline Richardson Building, Anna Many Lounge

· Downtown: Thursday (Jan. 16) 12 p.m.-1 p.m., 1440 Canal Street, room 1202

The program cost is $186 and those who attend 12 of the 17 meetings will be reimbursed 50 percent of that fee by TUWellness at the conclusion of the program. For more details, send an email to TUWellness.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000