Shawnee Mission focusing on health and wellness in first 5K for staff and family

In the name of preventative care and holistic health and wellness, the Shawnee Mission School District is hosting its first Staff 5K Walk/Run & Wellbeing Expo.

Tammie McCoy, a CBIZ staff member who the district hired to lead wellbeing services, said the 5K is one aspect of the district’s goal to enhance the quality of life for district staff and their immediate families. The 5K is beneficial for physical, social and emotional wellbeing, she added.

“I think the district doesn’t have much of an opportunity to pull together families and bring all the employees together,” McCoy said. “I think it’s going to be a great event. We’re really trying to get everybody involved.”

The inaugural 5K takes place on Saturday, May 11, and is free and open to school district staff and their immediate families as part of the district’s push to keep its staff healthy in the long run. McCoy said a focus on preventative care could also drive down healthcare costs as well.

“Of course, getting people more active is going to improve their health,” McCoy said, “but there’s been a lot of research that shows doing activities such as this with your coworkers and with your families improves your health in the long run as well: Your mental health, just getting your family involved in activity, in general, improves the health of the family.”

David Smith, chief communications officer for the Shawnee Mission School District, said the 5K is one step in an ongoing effort to improve staff health and wellness. Other efforts include the clinic and fitness center for employees at the Center for Academic Achievement.

“We do not have a projected amount for savings, but every dollar that we don’t have to spend for health care is a dollar that is available to spend on other things that support our mission,” he said in an email. “The district has not reduced funding for employee healthcare. However, every dollar that is spent on employee healthcare is a dollar that is not being spent elsewhere.

“It is a truism that the healthier our employees are, the lower the cost to insure them will be. We self-fund our insurance costs, and as such we have an incentive to promote programs and activities that support employee wellness.”

More than 500 people are already registered for the 5K race, which starts at 9 a.m. Pre-race activities begin at 8:30 a.m. The 5K start and finish lines are at Shawnee Mission West at 8800 W. 85th St., with the 3.1 mile route winding around neighborhoods near the school.

Registration will be available on site the day of the race, but SMSD staff can register online in advance. Parking will be available at SM West but the district is encouraging staff to park in the lots off of Antioch Road.

Children ages 8 and older are allowed to register for the 5K. Children ages 7 and younger are allowed to participate in the 5K, but staff require that younger children must remain with an adult while on the race course. Strollers are also welcome. The day’s activities also include healthy lifestyle vendor booths as well as other events such as face painting and balloon animals.

Everyone who registers by May 5 will receive their race bib (race number) at their school/building as well. After May 5, race bibs are available at the registration table on the day of the event.