Champion Moment – Paula McQuillan

Categories: Champion Moment, Well Nourished, Workplace Wellness

Paula McQuillan is from Hinsdale, NH and became a Champion on May 8th, 2013 when she made the pledge to live, share, model and inspire the Healthy Monadnock 2020 initiative and signed up her organization, Southwestern Community Services (SCS) as Organizational Champions. Paula is the Human Resource Director at Southwestern Community Services.

Paula became a Champion because of her passion for a healthier work environment for herself and fellow employees at Southwestern Community Services and for wanting to “live a more mindful and healthier lifestyle”. In her role as the Human Resource Director and as an active team leader on their wellness team, Paula says that she “wants to be a role model for others and a positive one at that!” Paula also credits her three beautiful grandchildren as her daily motivation.

Since 1998 as the SCS workplace wellness team leader, Paula has truly championed the idea of employee wellness at her organization. “Since the beginning of our wellness team, our main goal is to encourage our staff to live a healthier lifestyle and to have the SCS work environment a “healthy and happy” one!”

Paula shares many of the great programs and projects that SCS has “championed” since the wellness team’s inception:

“In the spring, we promote healthy nutrition choices with a free Salad Bar Buffet and offer the same in the fall as a free Harvest Luncheon. These two wellness events also encourage our staff to try new and healthier food choices and enjoy the camaraderie of having a social time with many different co-workers.”

Paula understands the importance of “knowing your numbers” and encourages staff to take part in that effort. “We also sponsor a flu shot clinic every October and a blood pressure screening in the spring. We also hold a Disease Transmission/Blood Borne Pathogen training each March which is free and open to all of our staff along with two Blood Donor days (in January & July) for the American Red Cross, which is also open to the public.”

Winter is a tough time for staying active, but not at SCS! Paula shares, “In the winter we hold an “active movement” event. This past year we rented the Cheshire Ice Arena for two hours and paid for the ice skate rentals for our staff and their family members. We had over 70 participants, including our CEO and his spouse, a lot of little kids and even a few teens, as well as folks like me who had not been on the ice in over 30 years! We consider this a true “wellness” success!”

Summer is a great time to unwind, get back to eating healthier and enjoying the outdoors, and SCS is no different! “In the summer we encourage our staff to take lunch time walks, eat outdoors in the fresh air and taking that much needed vacation time that we are all too busy to take at other times of the year”, says Paula.

After joining as a Champion herself and getting her organization on board as a Healthy Monadnock Organizational Champion, Paula feels the real impact of the Champions program. “Being actively involved as a Coordinator for many of these SCS Wellness events is another motivator for me to “model” a healthier lifestyle”, says Paula. Since SCS joined as Organizational Champions over 1 year ago, she feels that “The Healthy Monadnock Champions Program is actively sharing vital health information with all of us Champions and keeping us up to date on local activities, events and healthy living initiatives. The Champion events are informative, informal and very easy to attend as they are usually held early morning, lunch time, or early evening, so do not interfere with most work schedules. I look forward to recruiting more of our staff as Champions!”