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Emeriti Staff Leadership focuses on senior staff health

On May 7 Emeriti Staff Leadership at Mayo Clinic in Rochester hosted a first-ever Senior Staff Wellness Fair at Charter House on the downtown campus. The event promoted health and wellness of senior staff – emeriti and voting staff 60 years of age and older, and their spouses or partners.

More than 90 attendees heard Mayo Clinic speakers address creative aging, resiliency and wellness, smart eating for healthy aging, and exercises to jump-start fitness during the four-hour event. The event included wellness booths featuring local resources and tours of the Dan Abraham Health Living Center and Healthy Living Program on the Rochester campus.

“Our vision is to have a future with Mayo Clinic Rochester senior staff consistently engaged in activities that promote optimal wellness,” says Sue Briske, Senior Staff Wellness Program director and member of the Rochester Emeriti Staff Council. “We held a focus group to better understand the needs of senior staff. The Wellness Fair is the first major event we’ve hosted as a result of what we learned.

“Mayo not only supports the health and wellness of current staff but also supports them into the retirement years. That’s pretty novel in workplace wellness.”

Wellness Fair speakers included:

  • Edward Creagan, M.D. (I ’75, ONCL ’77), Department of Oncology, “Creative Successful Aging” – The secrets of successful transition into the final third of life
  • Matthew M. Clark, Ph.D. (P ’98), Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, “Resiliency and Wellness Coaching” – Effective wellness coaching and resiliency strategies
  • Margaret Gall, Clinical Dietitian, Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center, “Eat Smart for Healthy Aging” – Dietary patterns to reduce the risk of diseases including emerging support for a hybrid diet that combines aspects of the Mediterranean and DASH diets to benefit cognitive health
  • Linde Sifuentes, Worksite Wellness Coordinator, Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center, “Jump-Start Your Fitness” – Upper and lower body exercises to jump-start fitness

Feedback from the Wellness Fair was positive. One attendee told Briske: “This was an outstanding program. I hope there will be follow-up events to keep wellness on our minds.” Based on the positive feedback, Briske says efforts are underway to initiate group activities such as biking and ballroom dancing as well as host another large event.

Briske says the Senior Staff Wellness Program Steering Group also is exploring an iPhone app for motivating, tracking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The app also may provide opportunities to participate in research on aging-related wellness.

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