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A Healthier State House is in Full Swing

February 10, 2019

VAHHS is now in its second year of hosting "A Healthier State House," a wellness program for legislators, administrative staff, lobbyists and all who work under and around the golden dome. We kicked off this year with a health fair staffed by representatives from our member health systems. It was lively and well-attended.

At that event, multiple new legislators and other State House frequenters joined teams to participate in Fitbit challenges throughout the session and into the year. The first challenge ("Kick-off Clash") pitted different groups within our state (House, Senate, administrative staff, lobbyists and VAHHS staff/members) against each other to see who can rack up the largest average number of steps per day during a particular "challenge" period. The government and agency officials team was far and above the winner with an average of 13,936 steps per day. The lobbyists trailed far behind them with a still respectable 9,178 steps. We on the VAHHS team just barely beat out the Vermont state staff with 8,881 to their 8,838. The House was just behind them. (We're still trying to egg on the Senate—no Fitbit challenge takers there yet.

Last week, we've kicked off a four-state challenge called the "Heart Health Hustle." Last year, we battled the South Carolina State House in several challenges. This year, Minnesota and Oklahoma have joined the competition. We're holding our own at second place—in part, due to the fact that our own Governor Phil Scott is a powerhouse. He averages well above 20,000 steps per day!

This year, in addition to gaining new states as competitors, we've issued passports to our colleagues who don't want to use Fitbits. The passports list special events we will host in and around the State House and give a space to record personal workouts. Our first special event (other than our kick-off) happens this Wednesday at noon. We'll offer a free yoga class with the acclaimed Malaika DosRemedios (E-RYT-500, and YACEP), who led an amazing class at our annual meeting this year. She's a full-time Burlington-based teacher of the tantric tradition of Hatha Yoga. She also leads yoga retreats across the globe. She’ll teach a class that will leave you both relaxed and rejuvenated. If you have a mat, please bring it. Malaika will have a limited supply. The class will take place at 133 State Street in Conference Room 410. We hope to see you there.

Jeff Tieman, VAHHS CEO