DPS Sounding the Health Alarm

Living a healthy lifestyle is always on Margaret Bussard’s mind. In the last five years, the Department of Public Safety Administrative Services Manager has lost four siblings to adult-onset Muscular Dystrophy. She says she is lucky to not have the gene sequence, but unfortunately has watched the health of her siblings decline rapidly. 

“I know that the older I get, the slower I get,” Bussard said. “If I don’t keep moving, then I won’t keep moving. So, it’s important to me to look at my wellness and be aware of what I can do to improve it.”

As a Buckeye Wellness Innovator, Bussard has learned that well-being can be impacted by food choices, frequency of exercise and habits like smoking or drinking. Believing it is important to spread that message of health and wellness, she recently acquired a Virgin Pulse Health Station for Department of Public Safety staff. 

The station includes a weight scale and blood pressure monitor, both connected to an iPad. Users can track their measurements that are automatically uploaded to their Virgin Pulse account. Individuals logging in to the system once a month will receive 50 points toward their My Plan 4 Health Pulse rewards. In addition to points, the station allows users to track their own personal progress and history. 

“It’s pretty simple,” Bussard said. “It takes a couple minutes. We put ours in the break room on the first floor so people can access it easily.”

Phillip Camick, a Security Systems Analyst, thought it was important to keep track of his numbers. 

“I come in the first Monday of the month, take a seat and get the documents processed,” Camick said. “It’s really convenient to be able to sit there and get your blood pressure and your weight and be able to document it.”

Bussard encourages all of her colleagues to give the program a try.

“It’s important to know your numbers,” Bussard said. “Your weight and blood pressure are a big part of your overall health.”

“If we can do something simple like that to get people to be more aware of what their numbers are, then I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Bussard said. 

Note: This article was originally published December 2, 2019.