Candice Gwin is Employee Wellness Program Manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She joined Children’s in 2008 and is passionate about helping the hospital’s employees maintain or improve their health and well-being. Candice has 26-plus years of experience developing and promoting employee well-being programs. In her personal life, she enjoys running, cycling and participating in triathlons.
What is a key focus for your health and well-being initiatives in the coming months?
In terms of our initiatives, at the start of the year, we are rolling out “Sleep Smart,” an eight-week electronic-based program that was developed by one of our sleep psychologists. As a health care provider, health care worker fatigue is a very important topic that we address in a variety of ways. In prior years we have done this program, and over 2000 of our employees have completed it.
A year ago, Children’s Mercy hired a new CEO who has brought in a new leadership team. One of my main priorities is to educate them on what our well-being program has accomplished over the years and to learn what their priorities are and how we can partner with them to further advance the health and well-being of our employees, patients and the families that we serve.
Can you share a story about a grassroots leader who is helping you advance well-being in your organization?
Shelly Summar is a registered dietician who serves on our Wellness Committee. She is the Program Manager for the Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition Center at Children’s Mercy and is a passionate advocate for employee well-being. In fact, Shelly helped start a grass-roots wellness effort long before I started at Children’s Mercy in 2008. In 2015, Shelly obtained a grant and permission from our leadership team to start a community garden. Over the last several years, Shelly had developed a team of employee, patient and family volunteers who work in the garden to cultivate the beds, plant the seeds and harvest the produce. To date, the community garden has harvested over 600 pounds of produce, with volunteers logging over 1000 volunteer hours in the building and upkeep of the space. The produce from the garden has been given to more than 60 patients and families who participate in group weight management programming and to a variety of community partners.
What’s on your professional reading list that you’d recommend to fellow HERO members?
- I enjoy Brene Brown’s work.
- In my personal life I enjoy triathlons, so the book Not Dead Yet was a nice combination between my personal and professional interests.
- I recently read Brave, Not Perfect – Fear Less, Fail More and Live Bolder by Reshma Saujani – great book!