By Andi Prewitt
Of the Oregon Beer Growler
If you browse around the website for Ashland’s Standing Stone Brewing Company, you’ll find a lot of information about the beer, the food and the atmosphere. But what’s unique is that you’ll also discover how much the business cares about its employees. There’s an entire section describing all of the support Standing Stone provides for its workers and the larger community. Now the brewery has taken another step toward increasing employee health and wellness by joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Work@Health Program.
Standing Stone is one of at least 300 employers across the country that joined the comprehensive workplace health training, according to the latest numbers from the CDC. The program was established with funds from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund and introduced in 2014. It’s meant to help all sorts of businesses, particularly small employers, as long as they have at least 20 full-time employees and were up and running for one year prior to February 2013. Employers are then taught about ways to implement prevention and wellness strategies, primarily to quell chronic health conditions.
The brewpub ended up dedicating nine months of training and development to create an in-house version of the program, which it is calling “Cheers to Health.” And so far, a CDC-modeled program has never sounded so fun! For example, Standing Stone has hosted a movie night for workers, has brought in chair massages and has handed out yoga class vouchers. These activities and events are meant to help employees by decreasing their stress and encouraging them to socialize, volunteer, and use relaxation techniques. Workers have also benefitted from finance classes and emergency preparedness education.
The latest phase of the “Cheers to Health” program ended in November with a volunteer project for the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. Standing Stone employees spent a day constructing and installing new metal shelving to replace wooden racks in the organization’s walk-in refrigerator. They also stocked donated food.
“There are all sorts of studies that show how being part of our community and helping others decreases stress and lowers blood pressure,” says Standing Stone server Carolyn Stone. “Volunteering increases our health and happiness.”
Standing Stone Brewing
[a] 101 Oak Street, Ashland
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.