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For a Healthy Hawaii
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The Psychologically Healthy Workplace 

Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Care Center 
2006 Award Winner: Non-profit Category

The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center is a model for the concept of the healthy workplace. The Center clearly understands that psychological well-being, physical health, safety, job performance and satisfaction are mutually dependent factors and that by encouraging psychological healthy practices in the workplace, benefits can be expected in all these domains. 

Maintaining an open embracing stance to employees, users and community members alike, the Open Lei is at once a philosophy and a practice that embodies, enlightens and encourages a real Waianae Coast state of Mind, in harmony with Nature and in balance with Society. Their culture has always been one of inclusivity and openness with the concept of Aloha and Ohana. To these are added the concepts of Ola (Life or Health) and Pono (Goodness or Welfare) which comprise the core philosophy. 

As a community health center, the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center has close ties with the community. The population of the Waianae Coast is approximately 42,000 people and 25,263 of them receive their medical care from WCCHC, a rate of 47%. Utilization of the Center's various other resources, e.g., the gym, by the community has also shown an increase. 

The Center is building a special facility for traditional Hawaiian healing practices, seeking to encourage traditional Hawaiian Healing practices in combination with Western Medical practices. The traditional Hawaiian practice of healing family conflict through Ho'oponopono has been in use at WCCHC for years. WCCHC also maintains a Garden of Hawaiian medicinal plants. 

Working in the Garden is used as a stress reliever and the Center has created an Employee Wellness Program, designed to promote both emotional and physical well-being. 

Employees are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of programs that are made available to them, including nutritional counseling, physical exercise training at the Center's gym, group fitness classes, such as kick-boxing, yoga, and aerobics, a smoking cessation program, and the now famous Shintani Diet was developed at the WCCHC. 

All of these services are provided free of charge, and employees earn material incentives for regular participation. For example, to encourage employees to live healthy lifestyles, the 6% increase in health insurance premiums is waived for individuals formally committing to a healthy lifestyle program. Incentive points are awarded for participation in the various Wellness programs, redeemable for coupons worth cash at the Center's Dining Pavilion.

The employees are viewed as agents of change within the Center, and they participate fully in the decision-making process. The Center also is committed to providing flexible work schedules, not only to provide opportunities to handle family responsibilities, but also to give temporary relief from the sometimes relentless pressure involved in health care delivery. 

The Center has established a Personnel Task Force, comprised of employees from all departments and all levels. The turnover rates are low as are the absentee rates. The retention rate for employees is an impressive 85%.

Hawaii Psychological Association
P.O. Box 833
Honolulu, Hawaii 96808
ph: (808) 521-8995

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