The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) recently wrapped up a nine-week wellness challenge that had teams of staff, faculty, residents, and interns competing to log the most miles by walking, running, swimming, rowing, biking, elliptical, or any combination thereof.
The Miles for Wellness initiative was created by Dr. Alison Diesel, a clinical associate professor of dermatology, and Dr. Melissa Andruzzi, the hospital’s head veterinary resident. After Diesel participated in the Race Around the World fundraiser held by Not One More Vet, Andruzzi brought up the idea of bringing a similar challenge to the VMTH.
The Miles for Wellness challenge had about 120 participants split into five teams that, in total, logged 26,000 miles over nine weeks.
“Meredith Faix in the (VMTH) admin office made leader boards that had symbols for the five teams that were marching along a path,” Andruzzi said. “After every week, we would update the orders so people could see which teams were pulling ahead as we were getting closer to the end. It was awesome and a good, positive distraction for everyone.
“It was really exciting that we kept up the momentum the whole time,” Andruzzi said. “The final day was so intense. There were people riding their bikes like three minutes before the challenge ended just trying to log their miles.”
The winning team was Blue Lacy with just over 6,227 miles.
“A lot of people said what was really great about this activity is that because it was nine weeks, it allowed people to really make this a healthy lifestyle change,” Andruzzi said. “We had people coming up to us in the hospitals saying, ‘This is what I needed to get back into a routine.’”
The initiative received generous support from numerous outside vendors that supplied weekly prize drawings and “finish line” swag bags for all participants at the completion of the challenge.
“The VMTH would like to extend our sincere thanks to our supporters—Dechra, Pathway Vet Alliance, Compassion First, Gatorade, Elanco, Thrive, Zoetis, Vetoquinol, Specialized Metals, Pure Barre, VCA, Yoga Pod, Zyia Active, Helios Personal Training Studio, 1st Phorm, and Aggieland Supplements,” Andruzzi said.
Overall, the challenge was a great success and is set to become an annual event at the hospital.
This event was one of many recent wellness initiatives at the VMTH designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle among employees while boosting teamwork and morale.
Story by Megan Myers, CVMBS Communications
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of CVMBS Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; email@example.com; 979-862-4216