Backus receives statewide community service award
June 18, 2011
NORWICH – The William W. Backus Hospital will receive the statewide Community Service Award for its Enjoy LIFE program, which focused on reducing obesity and giving eastern Connecticut residents tools they can use throughout their lives to sustain healthy lifestyles.
The Community Service Award is given by the Connecticut Hospital Association and the state Department of Public Health to one hospital in the state each year for making “an outstanding contribution to its community, particularly for a program or service targeted toward a particular segment of the hospital’s community.”
Backus will receive the award at the hospital’s association’s annual meeting June 23 at the Aqua Turf in Southington.
The Enjoy LIFE (Lifelong Investment in Fitness and Exercise) program was held monthly in Plainfield, targeting residents of northern New London County and southern Windham County.
Backus created the Enjoy LIFE program after a study it conducted determined that approximately 28 percent of eastern Connecticut residents are obese, and nearly 69 percent are overweight. Both statistics are well above state and national rates.
The hospital partnered with the Plainfield Recreation Department on the initiative, which included everything from dietary advice to supermarket tours to kickball games. More than 400 people attended the programs.
“I would like to thank nurses Alice Facente and Lisa Cook of our Education Department, Janette Polaski, Manager of Community Benefits, partners such as the Plainfield Recreation Department and the many other physicians, dietitians, and other Backus staff members who have been so instrumental in this program’s success,” said Dave Whitehead, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is an example of determining the healthcare needs of our community and targeting our resources accordingly.”