The Biggest Winner

The Employee Health Services Division of Human Resources recently teamed up with the Sheriff’s Office for an 11-week weight loss challenge as a fun and different way to promote employee wellness. The challenge, titled “Beat Your Majors,” encouraged healthy eating, exercise and weight loss. The participants were enticed to participate by earning the chance to be called ” The Biggest Loser.” The “cash pot” (a sum of all participants five-dollar fee) was additionally awarded to the team losing the most weight. A prize was also awarded to the individual that exercised the most minutes and to the individual who lost the most weight.

To add a little rivalry to the challenge, Jail East competed against Jail West. Major Sandra Johnson led the Jail East team against her fierce competitor Major Ann Felton, leading the team at Jail West. The participants were placed into groups based on platoons and the divisions in which they are assigned, had their weight recorded and their blood pressure checked.

Participants received weekly emails about healthy eating, healthy snack ideas and meal options, along with education on hypertension and diabetes prevention. Participants were also offered one-on-one counseling sessions if they desired additional information to help create a healthy lifestyle.

At week six, participants were weighed, and their blood pressures were checked again. At this point, the competition was heating up and friendly bantering was in full effect. The results between Jail East and Jail West were neck and neck, and many participants saw positive weight loss and improved blood pressure readings.

November 15th marked the final weigh-in day. Eleven weeks of hard work, eating right, and exercise culminated with one quick step on the scales and one last blood pressure reading. The results were impressive! The Henrico County Sheriff’s Department rocked the “Beat Your Majors” weight loss challenge!

Jail East took home the title for the percentage of most weight lost by a team with a whopping 15.4% of overall body mass. A Jail East participant also took home the title of Biggest Loser with a weight loss of 40 pounds. A Jail West participant raced into first place for most minutes exercised with 2186 minutes. This translates into almost 200 minutes a week! It was a great effort by the members of the Henrico County Sheriff’s department who participated in the challenge, and a stellar effort by their team leaders, Major Johnson and Major Felton!

Following a healthy diet, losing excess weight, and regular exercise are well-documented ways to improve blood pressure and lower risk of developing diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Not only did many participants watch pounds drop off, they were given opportunities to help create healthy lifestyle changes. Additionally, participants with elevated blood pressure readings were counseled on ways to help lower blood pressure, and some were referred to their primary care physician for treatment.

This competition is just one example of Power Henrico in action! Henrico County is committed to empowering our employees to be well. Employee Health Services (EHS) is available to help your department create a weight loss challenge and/or provide education on health-related topics. Contact us at 501-1600 and see how we can help you have a healthier 2019!

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Black History: Events at HCPL

Henrico honors and celebrates the rich history and diversity of our community throughout the year in many ways, through special programs, educational events, food festivals, and music. February is Black History Month and this significant commemoration is important in Henrico. Our libraries are a wonderful resource as we look back and honor our past and come together as a community in the present.

Originally designated as “Negro History week” during the consecutive birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb 14), the month of February is now nationally and internationally known as Black History Month. This spotlight into our past serves as a reminder of how we have grown as a culture and aligns with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 2019 theme, Black Migrations, which “emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.”

Henrico honors this history and shares some of these stories with the community through multiple programs at our libraries. As part of their mission, Henrico County Public Libraries has “…connected people with the information they need…enriching community life” through their vibrant library programs, classes and events – and they do this throughout the County in honor of Black History Month. Through partnerships with local organizations such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, they offer programs for Black History Month, and year-round, that connect the community with history and with each other.

There are many things that are commonly known about black history. There is the Civil Rights Movement. There are conductors. There’s the Underground Railroad, and then there is mail. At Twin Hickory Library, you can learn how a Richmond slave mailed himself to freedom, and eventually assisted abolitionists by performing across the globe. The program, called “Henry Box Brown: Famous Fugitive, Trans-Atlantic Performer,” is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is supported in part by the Paul Mellon Endowment and the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund. Jeffrey Ruggles, a local historian and author, is the presenter for this event, which will take place on February 12 at 6:30pm in Twin Hickory Area Library’s meeting room. The event is open to the public and there is no charge!

Theodora Drozdowski, Adult Services Supervisor at Twin Hickory Library, said it best regarding Black History Month, “You become a more empathetic person by listening to other people’s stories, because history is made up of people and their stories.” On Twin Hickory’s events: “You get an opportunity to hear people in your community who are passionate about their subjects, and when you witness those passions, it comes alive for you as well.” Displaying empathy and actively engaging with the community is part of The Henrico Way, and what better way to learn about our history than through hearing stories from our citizens.

Fairfield Library will host writing workshops in February for both adults and teens. The adult workshop, called “Recomposing the Greatest Works of Black History: A Writing Workshop,” will be held on Thursdays, February 7, 14, and 21 at 7:00 p.m. and be facilitated by Paula Gillison, of PGArtistry RVA.

“We want to create this sense of community for people and offer programs that are inclusive and reflective of personal interests,” said Amanda Sullivan, Teen Librarian at Fairfield Library. “We want to be a resource for people to better their lives.” In commemoration of Black History month, this writing workshop event will consist of reading and examining famous poems, then creating your own version in the same style. Registration is required in order to attend this workshop, so sign up now.

In tandem with this workshop, teens can participate in a two-part program lead by poetry slam competition winner Roscoe Burnems, founder of the Writer’s Den RVA. This event will take place on February 7 and 21 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. In this workshop, teens will learn how to create poems and will be given the chance to showcase them in front of an audience. Registration is not required to attend this workshop.

To get involved with these and other great events, click here to see what else is going on at HCPL and events sponsored by Recreation and Parks.

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Power Up your Health (and your wallet)!

Begin or continue your Health Trip journey with an annual health screening, February – May 2019.

The focus of Power Henrico is the County’s commitment to the health and wellness of its employees. This commitment continues with the annual Biometric Screening and Personal Health Assessment. In partnership with HCA Virginia Workplace Wellness, Henrico County is offering permanent employees an opportunity to complete an onsite biometric screening and the on-line personal health assessment. Participants will receive an individually tailored personal wellness program designed around their own unique health needs and a financial incentive in their May 31st paycheck.

This annual biometric screening is an important and effective way to keep track of your personal health. It is a great way to gain awareness and understanding of your own health and ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle. The biometric screening along with the on-line personal health assessment can help to identify any future health risks and behavior changes you can make to minimize these risks. It flags areas of concern of which you may not have otherwise been mindful of and provides an opportunity for follow-up action with myriad County services if deemed necessary or desired including EHS, Fitness and Wellness, and others.

The Biometric Screenings are delivered by professional nursing staff who will gather your basic details, such as health, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure. They will then administer a finger stick to assess your current cholesterol and blood glucose (sugar) levels. The nursing staff will privately discuss your lifestyle choices with you, such as your daily activity levels, whether you smoke, and your dietary habits. This annual biometric screening does not only check your health statistics – it provides a valuable opportunity to talk to a health care professional in detail about any issues you may have, such as existing conditions, general questions or concerns.

During your biometric screening appointment, you will have time to complete the on-line personal health assessment and review your wellness report results. This is very useful as often waiting for results from a doctor’s office can be frustrating and lengthy. If you do not understand anything about your wellness report, you can ask questions directly. You will also be provided with the results of your biometric screening, so you have a record of your assessment.

To schedule your biometric screening appointment, visit the Power Henrico website. You will find the information right on the homepage! Look for the on-line registration link to schedule your appointment.

Any questions, concerns or comments should be directed to Liz Stovall at 501-7556, or by email at mailto:sto077@henrico.us.

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Voluntary Benefits are Here!

Because of your strong commitment to public service and “The Henrico Way,” Henrico County continues to thrive to be a wonderful place to live, work and play. We value your service and commitment to our community and strive to ensure we are providing a great work experience and enhanced benefits for you and your family. That is just one of the reasons we are thrilled to share with you an exciting new benefits opportunity! In partnership with Pierce Insurance Agency, Inc., Henrico County will offer employees the opportunity to enroll in a new, best-in-class supplemental benefits package.

We have negotiated competitive rates and excellent coverage options for several voluntary benefits and the premiums will be payroll deducted for your convenience. The new plans available to you and your family include:

Booklets were mailed to all homes on December 26 with further details including premiums and plan information. From January 7 to January 10, Pierce Insurance will hold employee meetings at a few locations throughout the County. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the voluntary benefits. Benefit Counselors will also be available to meet with employees one-on-one and answer questions beginning January 14. Signup sheets will be available during the informational meetings for employees to select a time to meet with a Benefit Counselor at their location.

Date Location Time
January 7, 2019 Eastern Henrico Rec Center- 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. 9:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
January 8, 2019 Woodman Road DPU Conference Room- 10401 Woodman Road 8:00 a.m.
January 8, 2019 Henrico Training Center- 7701 East Parham Rd. 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
January 9, 2019 Western Government Center Board Room- 4301 East Parham Rd. 9:00 a.m.
January 10, 2019 Henrico Training Center- 7701 East Parham Rd. 9:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

 

Enrollment for 2019 Voluntary benefits begins January 14 and ends February 28. If you have any further questions please feel free to reach out to the Benefits Division of Human Resources and they will be happy to answer any additional questions you might have.

 

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State of the County from an Employee’s View

Each year the County Manager delivers his “State of the County” address to the public, highlighting all of Henrico’s accomplishments over the past year, as well as forecasting future Henrico endeavors. After this year’s address, he also hosted an employee Town Hall, where employees had the opportunity to hear first-hand his plans for Henrico’s future. We asked a couple of employees to share their thoughts on this year’s State of the County information shared at the employee Town Hall:

What were your thoughts on the State of the County information shared?  

“Hearing the State of the County re-cap was very interesting to me.  We are so focused on what we do individually or as a department, to support our citizens, we often don’t realize the big picture of all we accomplish as a whole.  The re-cap amazed me with how much the County has accomplished in the past year!” – Michele Moore, Project Manager- Department of Information Technology

“It was really exciting to hear from the County Manager and Deputy County Managers about their vision for the future of Henrico County as well as all of the goals and objectives that were achieved this year.  It was great to learn about all the different initiatives that the County is focused on that will grow the local economy, improve schools, and guarantee drinking water for the future.  The overall message was very positive.” – Kim Downer, Division Manager Employment Compensation Services- Department of Human Resources

How do you see this impacting the employees of Henrico?  

“Knowing how much good we have accomplished is great for employee morale.  It makes people feel like they are making a difference every day, not just coming into a job they feel doesn’t matter.” -Michele Moore 

What are you excited about?  

 “I am really excited about the positive impact that sports tourism has on the County.  It has generated a substantial amount of revenue in local spending and has put Henrico County on the map regionally and nationally.   My daughter plays soccer and she has played on the fields at Glover Park.  The park is amazing, state of the art turf fields with lights.” – Kim Downer

Is there one thing in particular that stood out to you?  

“The incredible economic development that is happening in the County is the one particular thing that stood out to me.  The new jobs created, and millions of dollars invested is a boom to all County citizens.  Also, Deputy County Manager Romanello’s presentation about the new YMCA partnership added such a fun element to the Town Hall.” -Michele Moore

“The diverse population in Henrico County and how the County Manager wants to focus on outreach initiatives to untapped groups in-order to meet the community’s changing needs.  This is a testament of our dedication to serving the citizens of Henrico County.” – Kim Downer

What do you think employees who did not make the Town Hall should know?  

“I think the employees who did not make the Town Hall should know that the State of the County presentation is available on the web and should be watched.  They should know that attending the Town Halls is a great opportunity to ask questions of those managing the County, at the highest level.  They set aside this time for us and we should take full advantage of it!” -Michele Moore

Anything else you would like to add?  

“Every time I attend the Town Halls, it makes me feel proud to work for the County.  It also makes me wish I lived in this County…  Henrico County citizens are so well served by their government.  It’s not like that everywhere.” -Michele Moore

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Henrico County Partners With Local Gyms…

Just in time for New Year Resolutions!

The County is committed to employee wellness and another way to reinforce that commitment is here!  Full-time and permanent part-time employees can take advantage of discounted gym membership rates, special offers, and in some cases, additional services like diabetes management programming, child care services and volunteering opportunities in the community. The new gym membership discounts are an example of Power Henrico living up to its mission – to provide a workplace that partners with employees in their efforts to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

In addition to no-cost access to both the Training Center fitness facilities and the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, County employees can now take advantage of discounted membership rates to all Greater Richmond YMCAs, all nine American Family Fitness locations, a select number of Gold’s Gym locations, and a 60-day low-cost trial membership to both the Short Pump and Midlothian ACAC Fitness and Wellness Centers.

With encouragement and support from our County Manager, who believes County employees “have the ability and power to change themselves by engaging in wellness opportunities to get to a place of better health,” these new opportunities are now available. It is easier than ever to remove the barriers, whether financial, schedule, or physical location, to fully participate in wellness and fitness services in and around Henrico County.

For additional information on discounted membership rates, trial offers, and specialty programming like child care services and volunteering opportunities offered through the Greater Richmond YMCA and our other wellness partners, visit the ‘Local Gym Partnerships’ page found on the Power Henrico website under the ‘Active’ tab.

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Buckle Up for Safety: Someone Needs You

Did you know that wearing your seat belt can reduce your risk of death by 45% and serious injury by 50% in the event of a serious crash? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those ages 1-54 in the U.S. At Henrico County, we care about you and don’t want you to become just another statistic.

You may have noticed some new signage recently put up around our Government complexes reminding you to buckle up! “We have had several incidents through the years of employees that have been involved in some serious accidents who have not been wearing seat-belts. We want our employees to be safe. We want to make another effort to remind people to wear their seat-belts,” said Jason Young, Division Manager of Risk Management.

There are now a total of 10 signs around different government locations within the County. “The idea behind the sign is to be more friendly and less regulatory,” said Young, “choosing a bright red seat belt, people will remember a picture or image before words, so the colored seat belt, we hope, really sticks with people.” Risk Management partnered with Traffic Engineering and the Department of Public Works on the overall look and design of the new signs.

There are mandatory seat belt laws in almost every state and in Virginia the law requires everyone under the age of 18 to be seat belted as well as any passengers in the front seat of vehicles, regardless of age. If not, you can be pulled over and are looking at the chance of being ticketed, fined or even seriously injured. Between seat belt safety checks at our depots, reminders in defensive driving classes and now signs around the County, the hope is that employees will take a moment and remember to buckle up and make it home safe to friends, family and loved ones.

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Christmas Mother Reflections

The mission of the Henrico Christmas Mother is to provide assistance in the form of food, new clothing, books, and toys to qualifying Henrico families, disabled adults, and seniors during the holiday season. The campaign run by our Henrico County departments run collect and raise money for this mission is so much more! We were able to catch up with chair members Rebecca Slough and Tanya Harding to really reflect on this year’s campaign:

  1. How is the Christmas Mother campaign different this year from campaigns in the past?
    “We decided to do something a little different this year, similar to schools, is to invite our Henrico Christmas Mother or a previous Christmas Mother to come to our various events being sponsored by departments so they can not only enjoy the events, but to thank all that come by to support it. We also have heard that a couple of departments have done other events throughout the year to help the campaign and not just during the campaign timeframe.” – Rebecca Slough
  2. What has the response been like to events so far?
    “The response has been overwhelming. We have seen all of our favorite events return for another year and a lot of our departments who have not hosted events before hosting events for the first time; like this year we had our first ever ‘Pie a Boss’ and ‘Breakfast with the County Manager.’” – Tanya Harding
  3. How do you feel this campaign will inspire next year’s volunteers?
    “Each year we see many returning department coordinators, which I feel those folks enjoy and are inspired to helping such a great and worthy program. The Henrico Christmas Mother campaign is always about neighbors helping neighbors and I think our coordinators get so excited and want to create great events or collection of toys, clothes, books and more to help families have a wonderful holiday season. It is always so exciting for us to see new coordinators in departments as that sparks new ideas and creativity in the campaign.” – Rebecca Slough
  4. What are some of your favorite events you have seen put on?
    “I have to say I love all of the events. Every year I look forward to seeing what events or new ideas our coordinators will come up with. The ‘Pie a Boss’ was very entertaining to watch but all the events mean so much because I know every coordinator and each department took the time to plan and participate. To me that makes them all my favorite.” – Tanya Harding
    “I know this might sound a little cheesy, but I greatly appreciate all the events that folks have created to raise money for the Henrico Christmas Mother… but what is great is seeing departments come together to make their events successful by donating their time to make chili, barbecue, baked potatoes with all the fixings, cookies, cakes, hot dogs and more then to sell to others to all go to a good cause.” – Rebecca Slough
  5. What is the response like from the families who receive the benefits of this campaign?
    “I wish all our coordinators could be in the warehouse on the shopping days to see the smiles on the faces of the families who receive the toys, blankets, gloves, hats, bikes or the funds they have raised it is a feeling I can’t explain.  To walk with a mother as she carefully picks out a book, and toys for her children to open on Christmas morning is so rewarding and to know you made that happen it.  It is pure joy…” – Tanya Harding

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Funn Run with Team Henrico

Runners take your mark. Get set. GO!

If you have ever participated in a run/walk race, whether competitively or just for fun, you have inevitably heard these three commands. On a brisk November morning a group of Henrico employees lined up in the Scott’s Addition area of Richmond to take part in the 2018 Nutzy’s Rotary Funn Run, an untimed 5k run/walk meant to bring the community together and help raise money for noteworthy charities. This year’s event did not fail to deliver.

In addition to the many departments that participated- Henrico County Public Schools, Human Resources, Finance, Recreation & Parks to name a few- the Funn Run was also host to the 68th Henrico Police Academy. The course, a one-mile loop performed three times, was lined with cheering spectators, signs with random facts about the sponsored charities, and a water/junk food station. Along the course, spectators and fellow 5k participants were treated to not only the DJ’s music but also the cadence running of the 68th Police Academy.

Once the 5k was wrapped up the real FUNN started with the kick-off of the first ever block party. During the block party everyone was entertained with a DJ, live band, food trucks, and activities for all ages, including a visit from Nutzy, the Richmond Flying Squirrel. The band, Tëaze, was phenomenal in covering 80’s “hair metal” hits such as “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” They had everyone singing along.

Being involved in events like the Nutzy’s Funn Run not only allows for engagement in fitness and wellness, but also allows for community bonding and increased employee morale. This bonding was inherently evident this year when school teachers were locked into playing a game of Connect Four against one another. There are so many different departments and divisions within the County that coming together for a 5k run/walk and block party allows everyone to network and socialize with one another as well as with individuals from the community. It’s for these reasons that Henrico County enjoys providing discounted registrations for Team Henrico events like this one. Now that the Nutzy’s Funn Run is complete our eyes are set on the next Team Henrico event- The Monument Avenue 10k.

The 20th annual Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k will be Saturday April 13th. Last year we had a great group of Henrico County employees run the race and a group who helped cheer everyone on. Once again, the Fitness and Wellness Division will be heading up a Team Henrico cheer team to root on all the runners for the 10k. Experience how we get especially loud when we see one of our own! Visit Power Henrico for information about discount codes and to see where on Monument we will be located this year!

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Day in the Life of a Fire Recruit

“Good morning Sir. Recruit Academy 7-1 is present and accounted for. There are no other matters to report today, Sir.”

Twenty-two Henrico Fire recruits stand at attention in muster formation ready for the day, awaiting their first test – inspection. Eyes forward, staring into the morning sky, they undoubtedly feel a mix of nerves and subdued excitement as this is the culmination of a six-month hiring process. These individuals are here not only for the thrill and risk inherently involved in firefighting, but because they demonstrate high moral character and are passionate about public service. But before they can learn to save lives and put out fires, they must pass muster. Each recruit has spent several hours ironing clothes, lint rolling, polishing belt buckles, and spit shining boots. While the morning routine, with its emphasis on professional appearance, may seem tedious, the recruits are learning to pay attention to the little things – the things that, in this profession, can literally be a matter of life and death.

The Henrico Fire Recruit Academy is a 30-week structured program which introduces all essential job performance competencies. The recruits first learn about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Incident Command System which is the standardized management tool used by Henrico Fire, and most federal, state and local governments, for meeting the demands of small or large emergency and non-emergency situations. Once they learn the system, recruits spend seven intensive weeks learning the basics of emergency medicine. Recruits learn the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology and how to provide critical and emergent care to medical and trauma patients. Through their applied effort, studying, practical and written testing, each recruit will earn an Emergency Medical Technician EMT)-B certification from Virginia’s Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Although becoming EMT-certified is no small task, the recruits have just finished the “easy” segment of the academy. The remaining 21-weeks involve heavy work and play out at the Drill School, located at Woodman Road. This is where the recruits will hone their practical skills, build their emotional acumen, and enhance their physical strength and endurance. It is here that recruits are first introduced to their new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including a firefighter’s most significant resource, the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). Becoming comfortable and competent in their SCBA, particularly their face-piece, can be a daunting task. Initially, it is not uncommon for recruits to be apprehensive or to be claustrophobic while donning their SCBA, especially during periods of physical exertion. However, success as a firefighter includes overcoming any distress or anxiety and performing all fire-ground tasks while “masked-up.”

Mastering the SCBA is an essential skill and it’s the first to be introduced at the drill school, but several arduous and physically demanding skills remain in the recruits’ journey to success. Throwing ladders, forcing doors, advancing charged hose-lines, and performing Mayday operations, all involve many hours of classroom instruction and hands-on practice. In addition to the physical skills developed, recruits develop a working knowledge of building construction, fire behavior, tactical ventilation and fire protection systems. Once recruits master core knowledge and perfect essential job skills, they qualify to earn their National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 certifications which, along with their EMT certification, is required for graduation. Before the recruits earn placement as a probationary firefighter in the District, they must prove to the Instructor Cadre that they know the Henrico Way – that they perform above the minimum standard to meet the high expectations set forth by the Division of Fire and the community they serve.

Hours of EMT preparation and weeks of long days training at the Drill School completing skill sessions, live fire evolution’s, and countless trips up and down the infamous tower ultimately pay off for those who make it through the process. The recruits are sorely tested during their 30-week journey. Each day begins with the muster drill as a reminder that it is the small things that matter in this profession. In the words of Firefighter Lam Le, a recent graduate of Recruit Academy 70, now stationed at Station 12, “Recruit school is long and difficult, but you learn a great deal not only about Fire and EMS, but about who you are, and it is definitely worth it in the end.” As the recruits transition to probationary firefighters, each exemplifies the Division of Fire’s core values – Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Empathy — P.R.I.D.E.

Henrico Fire opens its application process annually on December 1. If you know someone who demonstrates P.R.I.D.E. in their daily lives and has a heart for service, please consider encouraging him or her to become part of our family. General information regarding the hiring process can be found at our recruiting site.

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