by Michelle Best, Regional Manager, Health Promotion & Wellness, Utah Valley Hospital
With a mission of “helping people live the healthiest lives possible,” Utah Valley Hospital has plenty of reasons to encourage caregivers (hospital employees) to embrace two wheels instead of four. During the summer of 2016, the hospital was designated as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists in recognition for its work to get more caregivers on bicycles. Here are some of the ways the hospital is promoting cycling:
Participating in Provo’s Bike to Work Day
The hospital hosted a breakfast station on 800 North as part of Provo’s Bike to Work Day in May 2017, and more than 55 cyclists from around the community showed up. The secret? Breakfast burritos! The hospital plans to host a breakfast station next year, and Intermountain Healthcare will be promoting National Bike to Work Month in May 2018.
Sponsoring a Cycling Club
In 2014, Utah Valley Hospital, in partnership with Intermountain Cancer Centers and the American Fork Canyon Run Against Cancer, started sponsoring veloLOVE Cycling Club. The club’s purpose is to promote physical activity through cycling by getting as many people on bikes as possible. Through the sponsorship, the club provides highly discounted kits, organizes weekly club rides for cyclists of all abilities, and participates in cycling events. In 2017, club members rode in events like LOTOJA (Logan to Jackson), the Cache Gran Fondo, FrontRunner Century, Leadville Trail 100 MTB, and Crusher in the Tushar. To join veloLOVE, you can sign up for the club’s email list at www.velolove.club.
For the past two years, American Fork Hospital has hosted a free cycling clinic every spring. The clinic provides information about sports nutrition, bicycle maintenance, injury prevention, training, and bike fits.
Utah Valley Hospital Campus Plan & Bicycle Parking
When Utah Valley’s hospital replacement project is complete in 2019, there will be a bike path running east to west from the hospital’s main entrance to 940 North. This will provide convenient front door access to the facility. The hospital recently purchased 15 Cycle Docks and 12 double bike lockers to place near key hospital access points for caregivers, volunteers, and hospital visitors. By making bike parking more convenient than parking a car and by putting it in highly visible locations, the hospital hopes that more caregivers will begin commuting by bicycle to work. The hospital will also provide a repair station and bicycle pump on the north and south end of campus.
To help caregivers stay active, particularly during the winter months, the new LiVe Well Center at Utah Valley Hospital (opening 2018) will feature free spin classes. The American Fork Hospital Wellness Center also provides free winter spin classes for caregivers and has started supporting off-season youth mountain bike training.
Incentives for Biking to Work
Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well incentive program allows caregivers to earn $50 per quarter by completing a wellness activity of their choice and watching two online wellness modules. Caregivers can bike to work for their wellness activity.
Utah Valley Hospital hopes to continue finding ways to encourage caregivers and visitors to ride their bikes to the hospital. With bicycle lanes coming in 2018 to Bulldog Boulevard (protected), 500 West (buffered), which both border the hospital campus, UVH will have bike lanes on all four sides of the campus (with the lanes on 800 North and University Avenue), making cycling safer and more convenient.