Healthy employees make for a happier work environment, and Elwyn of New Jersey understands just how important that balance can be for their employees. Since 2015, Live Healthy Vineland has worked with local organizations such as Elwyn New Jersey to implement healthy workplace strategies. Elwyn is a human service organization serving disabled and disadvantaged individuals. The organization has created a successful program where its employees and individuals are living and working in a culture of health.
As part of its healthy workplace initiative, Elwyn’s management and employees observe National Walk to Work Day, host health fairs where employees can learn about community-based health and wellness resources and have established a wellness council to support and encourage healthy living among employees.
Christina Belony, a lead technician for the Dorothy Group Home, has been an employee at Elwyn for 17 years. Belony is a major health advocate both at work and home, but admits it hasn’t always been her priority. In 2007, Belony weighed 467 pounds and was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, leading to her decision to get a full hysterectomy. “That’s when I knew I had to get healthier and I initially lost 100 pounds on my own in just over a year’s time,” said Belony. Belony then hit a weight loss plateau and opted to get gastric sleeve surgery to continue her progress and lost another 120 lbs.
“When I was hired at Elwyn NJ, I had all the necessary tools I needed to lose weight because I worked in a home that specialized in diet and nutrition,” stated Belony. She has made healthier changes at work and in her everyday life, like counting calories, taking walks, bike rides, and even participating in Zumba classes. “I’m glad I opened my eyes to healthier living,” said Belony. She also helps organize many different healthy programs at Elwyn including: Maintain, Don’t Gain, Walking Works; ENJ Health Fair; Walk at Lunch Day; Elwyn NJ 5K Run/Walk; Walk and Water Healthy Lifestyle Challenge; and Walk at Work Setting.
A Vineland resident, Belony is a cancer survivor, dedicated mom, and health advocate who serves as a good role model for those around her. She lives with her husband Max and their five children and has been instrumental in helping her family cut out fried and starchy foods and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
“My husband and I often go on bike rides with our sons and incorporate family workouts that we all enjoy,” said Belony, “I want both my family and the individuals I serve to be healthy and happy, too. I want to set a good example for them.” It’s clear that all her hard work has paid off.
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