The Department of Human Resources Development believes "work is fun and healthy." To start each week on a positive note, the "Thoughts and Humor" column provides and promotes inspirational thoughts, work information, humor and encouragement to all employees.
Director Marie LaDerta and her administrative staff bring a package full of positive energy that promotes a very Healthy Workplace. Among others, each year this office coordinates and executes a Health and Safety Fair, with over twenty participating vendors and agencies, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Coalition for Drug Free Hawaii, Hawaii Employee Assistance Services, Queen's Medical Center/Food and Nutrition Office, and the University of Hawaii/Kinesiology and Leisure Science Department.
In this context, in the past two years, over 500 employees have participated in this yearly event. In addition, presentations on health nutrition and the importance of exercise leads to the aerobic exercise classes offered during lunch times, three times a week, on the second floor where DHERD is housed. This exercise initiative is supplemented by the Lt. Governor's "Start Living Healthy" walking program where pedometers are handed out - to help participants in keeping count of their steps towards a healthy lifestyle.
As a family friendly work site, the Alternative Work Week Schedule and Flexible Work Hours Program, A Generous Vacation/Sick leave (21 days each per year), and Family leaves, leave sharing program (to donate and receive vacation credits), and Parent-teacher Conference times, promotes the practice that employee's families are provided with the most nurturing family practice and environment.
The REACH (Resource for Employee Assistance and Counseling Help) provides, when necessary, a variety of confidential mental health intervention supports and resources for healthy family functioning. The unique Work Family program assists families with home support, both emotional and with man power, when family trauma hits, like at times of bereavement.
And lastly, in sharing her positive energy and influence, the Director has hosted, with down home, local style, cooked meals, to show her great appreciation and support to her hard working staff, various luncheons and gatherings. These practices and programs shared by DHERD do indeed greatly reflect their theme that "work is fun and healthy."