Employees at Bothwell Regional Health Center have recently taken to heart the organization’s mission to promote exceptional health and wellness by collectively losing more than 4,500 pounds over the past two years.

“At Bothwell, we are committed to the health of our patients and our employees,” said Jimmy Robertson, chief executive officer. “We are proud to offer our employees the opportunity to live healthier lives by attaining and maintaining a healthy weight.”

According to a press release from BRHC, more than 350 employees have participated in the program – which is completely voluntary – since the hospital began offering it in 2015.

Kim Godfrey of Warrensburg is a leader for Weight Watchers, covering western Missouri. She said her Bothwell members are role models for healthy living.

“Bothwell had the highest attendance in my territory,” Godfrey said. “In fact, it was No. 11 in the United States.”

That ranking is based on the number of employees who participate in on-site Weight Watchers meetings. Since February 2015, the Bothwell Weight Watchers members have lost a combined 4,500 pounds, with five members earning Lifetime memberships in Weight Watchers. To qualify, members must hit their goal weight and maintain it for six weeks. Lifetime members are then allowed to attend meetings free of charge, as long as they continue to maintain their targeted weight. They also can become leaders like Godfrey.

She said the designation is an important achievement. It shows that those members who hit their weight-loss goals were able to maintain the healthier weight over time. “Maintenance is just as challenging, if not more so, than losing the initial weight,” Godfrey said.

She credits Bothwell’s success to the incentives the company offers employees who enroll in the on-site Weight Watchers meetings. If employees attend 15 of the 17 weekly meetings, Bothwell will reimburse the full cost of the program. Even employees’ spouses can get half their costs covered.

“Meetings can start very strong, but sometimes other things in life can get in the way and members lose their drive,” she added. “The thing that sets Bothwell apart is the incentive to attend, which I think is a key reason why a majority of my Bothwell members follow through with that.”

Dianne Williams, a registered nurse at Bothwell, said she appreciates the hospital’s commitment to helping its employees make healthy changes in their lives. “We’re very fortunate that the hospital makes every effort to promote wellness,” Williams said. “We are in the business of wellness, and this really helps us to be a good example of that.”

“Through the group meetings you realize you’re not alone,” said Williams. “There are other people on this journey with you. My whole family has gotten involved.”

Williams is part of the newest Bothwell Weight Watchers group, which started on Feb. 22 with 58 members who attend meetings either Wednesday mornings or evenings.

“That 4,500-pound total weight loss is going to go a lot higher by the time this latest group is finished,” said Godfrey.

Bothwell Hospital Main Entrance
Kurt Parsons

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