Not every hospital can say they are a Well Spot. But Rapides Regional Medical Center can.

The 328-bed hospital recently received the Level II Well Spot designation from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, making it one of eight Louisiana hospitals to receive a “Well Spot” title.

This voluntary program was part of the Louisiana Office of Public Health’s efforts to help hospitals, schools, childcare centers, colleges and restaurants meet certain wellness benchmarks. The more benchmarks you meet, the higher your Well Spot designation.

“Our hospital already had many of the things in place that we needed to become a Level II Well Spot,” said Ann Vanderlick, RN, Rapides Regional Medical Center employee health nurse. “We were already a tobacco-free campus, and we were already recognized for our efforts to increase breastfeeding rates for our new moms.”

Rapides Regional Medical Center has also made efforts to provide healthy dining options through its cafeteria and to encourage exercise for employees.

“We have two departments now who are holding their own weight-loss challenges,” Vanderlick said. “We’ve also been seeing more employees taking the stairs instead of the elevators – and more employees exercising at the health center here on campus.”

The idea, of course, is to make healthier living an easier, attainable goal for RRMC employees and the Central Louisiana community.

According to the Office of Public Health, Louisiana has the highest rate of adult obesity in the United States. Plus, at least 1,150,000 Louisiana residents either have high blood pressure, are overweight by 20 percent or more, have cardiovascular disease, have high cholesterol, or don’t exercise.

“Our employees were eager to get more information about exercise and nutrition,” Vanderlick said. “This program came along at the perfect time.”

For more information, about Louisiana WellAhead, visit Rapides Regional Medical Center’s Facebook page.