Hinsdale Hospital employees are in step
The winning walking team( from front to back) are Irvin Azcarraga, Ray Diaz, Francisco Guiterrez, Leo Basit and Barry Barnswell.
Updated: August 27, 2012 6:11AM
HINSDALE — Quite a few Adventist Hinsdale Hospital employees took the long way, well, everywhere in June.
After the hospital’s wellness committee passed out free pedometers, 132 hospital employees strapped them on and took as many steps as possible, both during work and outside of work. Employees were split into 17 different teams, with the winning team winning $500.
The contest ran the entire month of June. During that time, employees walked more than 37 million steps, or about 18,501 miles.
“The response and the enthusiasm was more than I could have imagined,” said Sandy Dixon, manager of cardiopulmonary rehab and chairperson of the hospital’s wellness committee. “Our employees supported each other and found ways to include walking into their already very busy days. What an example of dedication they are to our patients.”
Five men from the hospital’s support staff won the competition, logging an average each of 17,156 steps — or about eight miles — per day. The winners were: Barry Barnswell, Ray Diaz and Irvin Azcarraga, who work in the hospital’s linen department; Francisco Guiterrez, who works in the hospital’s environmental services department and Leo Basit, who works in the hospital’s warehouse.
“We walk every day, all over the hospital,” said Azcarraga, who encouraged his coworkers to sign up for the contest. “So I told them, let’s do this. From the time we punch in to the time we punch out, we’re walking.”
Some of the men on the winning team have second part-time jobs, which helped their pedometer totals, since the contest counted steps walked all day, not just those during work hours. For example, the top walker, Diaz, walked an average of 21,835 steps — or more than 10 miles — a day, thanks in part to his job at the United Center in Chicago.
With a winning stride, each of the men from the first-place team walked away from the contest with a $100 bill, their portion of the $500 winning prize.
“I’m going to use my winnings this Friday when I go on vacation to New York,” said Barnswell. “And I’ll be flying, of course, not walking. Everyone needs a break sometime.”