Employees engage with wellness program

Apr 24th, 2014

Melissa Watton

Employees engage with wellness program

This spring, Memorial’s Preferred Rate Program (PRP) reached a milestone 10 years of operation. What began in 2004 as a pilot wellness program is today a permanent program embraced by over 1,200 Memorial employees and retirees. Offered through Memorial’s Department of Human Resources, PRP is a fitness membership subsidy available to employees and retirees at the St. John’s and Corner Brook campuses and the Labrador Institute. 

“The program has really grown over the years,” said Laura Chapman, wellness consultant with Human Resources. “The first year PRP was offered, there were 423 participants. In 2013, 1,220 people participated.” 

When the program began in 2004, registration was limited in regards to timing of enrollment and eligibility. Since then the program’s scope has broadened significantly and is available to permanent employees as well as employees in contractual positions of at least six months who work 20 hours or more per week. Another notable change is that eligible employees can join any time they wish.

Joanne Samson and Joy Carew with Research Grant and Contract Services at Memorial have embraced PRP and are long time participants. “Exercising is part of my life,” said Ms. Samson. “Years ago I participated in wellness initiatives at Memorial through leading fitness classes for employees. Today, I exercise pretty much every day using the facilities at the Aquarena. The Preferred Rate Program has been fabulous and has really promoted wellness amongst employees.”

“Through PRP and the facilities available, there are a number of exercise options for employees including classes, equipment and swimming,” said Ms. Carew. “No matter your fitness level, there is something there for you. I encourage anyone interested in joining an exercise program to look into the PRP.” 

To participate, eligible interested employees should contact the service desk at one of the participating facilities (The Works which includes the Field House and Aquarena in St. John’s, and Forever Young and the YMCA in Corner Brook). Employees of the Labrador Institute can participate by contacting Laura Chapman at lchapman@mun.ca. The PRP subsidy covers 50% of a membership fee up to a maximum of $10 biweekly for employees and $21.60 monthly for retirees and is made through payroll deduction.