Blurry pattern of colorful decoration lightsIn 2013, our employees underwent personal wellness journeys that inspired us all. These are their stories, in their own words.

Paul Macuga, Chief Human Resources Officer: “I’m Happy (And Very Lucky) To Be Alive”

“…Twenty –two minutes later I was laying on a table in the Cath Lab, with Dr. Kevin Carey was opening a balloon to clear a blockage in my left anterior descending artery. As he did, he said, ‘That should feel better’ and it did. I started to slow down the pace and intensity of my praying, because maybe I wasn’t about to die. I learned later that I was in the process of dying. The type of heart attack I was experiencing is known as a ‘widow-maker.’ The pattern created by my EKG is known as a ‘tombstone’…”

Bonni Martin, Accreditation & Regulatory Affairs Specialist: “The Hard Road to a Smoke-Free Lifestyle”

“I’ve always been fit – and I have always been committed to staying fit. But, I started smoking when I was a teenager and continued to smoke daily. Typically, a pack a day. What’s surprising is that I was very aware of the implications of smoking. I worked as a hospice nurse for many years. That didn’t deter me. It was only after a major change in my personal life, that I was forced to make changes. Frankly, I needed to save money – and smoking was costing me $8-10 per day. That adds up. When my husband and I quit smoking, we ended up saving $400-500 per month. Talk about an expensive habit!”

Livija Mujkanovic, RN, Nurse, General Surgery: “Staying Healthy While Working Nights”

“Working nights can certainly be a challenge in terms of diet and exercise. To maintain healthy habits, I try to increase my water intake, bring homemade meals and walk during my shift as much as I can. Being healthy in mind, body and spirit is very important to me.”

As Steve Leffler, MD, our Chief Medical Officer, says: “Our employees are our most valuable resource and serve as role models for patients. We’re fortunate to live in one of the healthiest states in the country where the opportunities for outdoor exercise are abundant. For me, staying healthy means eating well, exercising, and receiving my health screenings and vaccines.”

Learn more about the Employee Wellness Program at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

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