“Enthusiasm” is the word that comes to mind upon meeting Emily Smith, the LHSFNA’s new wellness coordinator, hired in February, and receptionist Carly Sager, who came on board last September.
“We want LIUNA members to be smart health care consumers, and we want to help control health care costs,” says Smith. Her position focuses on the importance of wellness and disease prevention that further the Fund’s initiatives.
Smith, who earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health, Community Health Education, from the University of Maryland, says instilling wellness in the workplace, where “adults spend most of their waking hours,” is key to achieving these goals. Before joining the LHSFNA, she was program manager at a company that helps employers, including those in the construction industry, design nutrition and fitness programs that can be incorporated during the workday.
“I worked with a personal trainer on our staff to set up activities like stretching routines and jumping jacks. The workers would do them during lunch breaks,” Smith says, recalling one such program she helped oversee at a construction site. “We also worked with (food) vendors to come up with healthy plates: lean meats, beans and vegetables instead of cheese covered on everything.”
She said a home-emailing with tips about nutrition and fun activities for the family complemented the worksite activities and helped ensure that wellness would also continue off the clock.
Smith is looking forward to bringing similar programs to LIUNA members and their families.
“Once you know what to do, you can go out there and have fun. Wellness doesn’t have to mean going to a gym,” Smith says. “It’s just going out and moving.”
Carly Sager may be a recent arrival at the LHSFNA, but she’s no stranger to LIUNA. “I’ve had family members in this building,” says the Fund’s new receptionist who is the first face visitors see when they step off the elevator on the third floor. “My grandfather worked here for many years, my Mom worked here and my aunt works for LIUNA now.”
With her infectious smile and bubbly personality, Sager, who attended the College of Southern Maryland, is well suited to the task of official greeter.
“I like talking to people. I like everything. The people are great,” she says when asked about her favorite aspects of the job.
An added bonus for the LHSFNA is Sager’s background in health care. Before she was hired at the Fund, Sager worked as a certified pharmacy technician. She also did administrative work at a health care management agency. No doubt these experiences have enhanced her understanding of the work that goes on at the LHSFNA and helped her settle into her job.
[Janet Lubman Rathner]