Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital are proud to announce the winners of the annual school wellness challenges. The programs include teachers and staff from area school systems participating from September to May in customized wellness programs designed by the hospitals. Cash awards are granted to the schools making the most progress.

Hospital staff hold pre-assessment and post-assessment measurement sessions with participating school staff members to obtain baseline metrics on which to improve throughout the program. Chelsea Burrell, wellness outreach coordinator for the hospitals, works with the school systems to design the program and activities that work best for participants. Individuals obtain points for physical activity and healthy choices throughout the program’s duration.

Jackson County Schools had 157 participants with Katie Swartzwelder as the top winner for overall health score. Other points winners were: Janet Bottoms, Becky Buchanan, Janice Hoyle, Paige Brooks, Nathan Frizzell, Kay Conner, Kim Carpenter, Rebecca Farmer and Sherry Maney.

Collectively, Jackson County Schools, Swain County Schools and Graham County Schools improved average cholesterol score by three points and average glucose score by 10 points. Average weight loss per person was 11 pounds with a total of 1,481 pounds lost.

To learn more about community wellness programs, contact Chelsea Burrell at 586-7391.