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Employers invited to free breakfast to tackle workplace health issues

SIMCOE, ON, FEB. 12, 2010 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is inviting people to attend a free, informative breakfast session in Waterford March 23 on “An Employer’s Guide to Workplace Health.”

Guest speaker Giovanna Ferrera, a founding member of the Ontario Workplace Health Coalition, will address various issues related to workplace health, including the skills needed to create an effective workplace health plan.

The session takes place from 8 to 10 a.m. at Springview Farm Golf Course, 657 Culver Rd., Waterford and includes a free continental breakfast. The event is geared to human resources managers, health and safety representatives, wellness committee members, and occupational health and safety nurses. Participants may register by contacting Health Unit Workplace Health Promoter Julia Hartley at Ext. 3236 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623.

“I would recommend this session to all those interested in learning more about how their workplaces can help promote health and wellness to employees,” Hartley said. “Whether your workplace is new to workplace health or has an established program, this session offers lots of ideas on how to promote a healthy workplace with limited time and resources.”

The value of the session to employers was proven when it was offered Feb. 9 in Cayuga at the Ginger Bread House.

“The Cayuga session was a great success, drawing 30 individuals from a diverse range of workplaces in Haldimand County, including large private-sector organizations and small non-for-profit ones,” Hartley said. “Participants told us they received a lot of new ideas for promoting health and wellness in their organizations and were now aware of free resources available in the community.”

The breakfast will include an overview of comprehensive workplace health, looking at costs related to unhealthy employees, benefits of healthy workplaces, available resources, and practical ideas and strategies for achieving goals.

“Giovanna Ferrara is an accomplished public speaker, who regularly delivers presentations about stress management, self-esteem and creating a positive workplace culture,” Hartley noted. “She really connects with the audience and provides an informative and entertaining presentation that helps the audience better understand the importance of creating a healthy work environment.”

Ferrara is one of the newest consultants with The Health Communication Unit, a research and educational organization based at the University of Toronto. Before joining the THCU team, Giovanna worked in public health, including the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, where she assisted a wide range of organizations in improving productivity and decreasing absenteeism by developing customized, comprehensive programs. Ferrara holds a degree in humanities and sociology from York University and has completed post-graduate work at Centennial College where she earned certification in workplace wellness and health promotion and health-risk assessment. She will complete her MA in humanities this year and plans to continue researching the sociological and philosophical framework of corporate culture by pursuing her PhD.
“The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit supports workplaces on many different levels and is committed to helping local companies move towards a healthier workplace,” Hartley pointed out.

A workplace health promoter is available to meet with companies to provide the following services:

  • Creating a workplace health plan.
  • Conducting a situational assessment using the health unit’s needs assessment survey.
  • Providing a follow-up report on a company’s workplace health results.
  • Producing a customized wellness plan based on a company’s workplace needs and assisting in policy development.


Media contact
Julia Hartley,
Workplace Health Promoter
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3236 at either 519-426-6170 or 519-318-6623