Arbuckle Memorial Hospital earns two WorkHealthy Hospitals Gold Awards and WorkHealthy Hospitals Excellence Award

Posted on: 8/31/16

  Arbuckle Memorial staff members (left to right) Darin Farrell, CEO; Pam Chitwood, PR & marketing; Dustin Johnson, director of laboratory; Sarah Freehill, chief of nursing; Lacee Beatley, Foundation coordinator; Diane Freeman, business office assistant; and Donna Hart, director of dietary services.
WorkHealthy Hospitals
(WHH), an initiative of the OHA, in partnership with Prevention Partners in North Carolina, has awarded Arbuckle Memorial Hospital (AMH), Sulphur, with only the second “Excellence Recognition” in Oklahoma for reaching the highest standards in health and prevention for their employees, as well as receiving a “Gold Apple” award for nutrition and food environment and a “Gold Star” award for tobacco freedom.  

“The WorkHealthy program has been very beneficial for our hospital. I have seen a dramatic change in our employees since we began. Our entire culture has changed. Many employees have lost weight, quit smoking, started exercising, and improved their health. We have seen less absenteeism and a more positive morale overall. Pam Chitwood has been an energetic, positive encourager who has led the way to a healthier work environment. Having someone like her to lead the project has made it successful. I am very proud of the awards we have received and can attest to the positive changes that have resulted from promoting a healthy work environment,” said Darin Farrell, CEO, Arbuckle Memorial Hospital.

AMH achieved this recognition by earning the Gold standard in four areas of WorkHealthy America, a Prevention Partners initiative. Over three years, the staff worked to meet and verify the highest level of evidence-based wellness requirements and standards within: nutrition/food environment, physical activity, tobacco cessation, and an overall improved “culture” of health and wellness. The “Excellence Recognition” honors AMH’s commitment to improving employee health as demonstrated by its policies, benefits and programs that support employee health, optimizing employee productivity, and integrating wellness into daily operations. AMH is one of only 29 organizations nationally that have reached such standards for WorkHealthy America.

“AMH has demonstrated that a healthy work environment can be achieved by any organization motivated to do so” states Joy L. Leuthard, OHA health improvement initiatives manager. “As a small rural hospital, struggling with minimal resources, they have successfully improved their culture of health/wellness by making and keeping it a priority. This success is built upon their innovative ability to interface WHH sustainable infrastructure changes with their own WellBee @ Work initiative/activities, enhancing both efforts together. Their positive environment and high staff morale is very obvious the minute you enter their building. OHA is honored to partner with them.”

AMH has received national recognition as well.  “AMH sets a high bar in establishing a workplace where employees can make healthy choices,” says Meg Molloy, Prevention Partners president/CEO. “I applaud this great effort and the commitment of their leadership in creating a culture of wellness.”

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) acknowledges the WorkHealthy America Excellence standard as one of highest achievements in building a healthy work force. Janet Collins, director of the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity & Obesity, recognizes that the Work Healthy America initiative is “science-based” and “successful in taking prevention from the hypothetical to the very practical.”

WorkHealthy Hospitals has worked with approximately 40 hospitals statewide over the past three years, providing multiple services to hospitals interested in improving employee health, including online organizational wellness status assessment to tailored one-on-one consultation, goal setting and technical assistance. Become a WorkHealthy Hospital by contacting Sydney Tomlinson, WHH coordinator, (405) 427-9537 or

WHH is funded, in part, from an Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) grant.

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