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UW-Eau Claire Students Help Area Businesses, Organizations Develop Wellness Projects and Programs

EDITOR'S NOTE: The "Wellness in the Work World" class will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, in Room 104 of the Nursing Building on lower campus. The media is welcome to attend to talk with students about their wellness projects at area businesses and organizations.

RELEASED: May 4, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students enrolled in the "Wellness in the Work World" class have been actively assisting several business and community organizations with wellness projects this semester.

Students in the class work with local organizations to gather information and/or to plan a wellness program that will meet the needs of the individual businesses, said Dr. Susan Moch, professor of nursing.

"We help design programs and gather information, giving businesses the tools and strategies they need to develop or enhance a program that will be effective in their workplace," said Moch, who has taught the course since it was first offered in spring 2008. "We do the front-end work; we help them figure out how to design and run the program to meet their specific needs and goals.

"We're open to any small project an agency or business has that creates a healthier work world. We want to contribute in a meaningful way to the health of our community."

The 23 students in the class this semester broke into teams, with each team assigned to work with a specific business or agency, Moch said.

One student team helped the Eau Claire Press Co. plan a health fair for its employees, which is slated for May 28, Moch said.

"The interdisciplinary team has learned much about the company and the community, and it has incorporated that information into an individualized plan for the company," Moch said the project.

This spring, students also have worked with Sacred Heart Hospital, Grace Lutheran Foundation and Community Health Partnership to plan wellness projects, Moch said. The projects varied from helping plan health fairs to doing research on wellness plans to working on the Eau Claire Marathon, she said, noting students will assist during the marathon itself.

"Our students have helped with specific projects but also have shared many other ideas for motivating and involving people in ongoing wellness programs," Moch said.

While the class is housed in the nursing department, students enrolled in the course have many majors, Moch said. Students from different disciplines bring varied experiences and knowledge, which helps strengthen the class discussions and enhance the community projects, she said.

In addition to the hands-on projects, students in the class also study theories and research that focuses on wellness in the work environment, said Moch.

"We touch on everything it takes to have a well work world," Moch said. "The class isn't limited to food and fitness but to anything that helps shape a workplace culture."

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Moch at 715-836-4889, 715-836-4834 or



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