From left are Marta Pina, Pamela Capman, Carmen Ortega, Ana Martha Ayala, Juniette Fiore, Kris Roth, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, Isabel Felipe, Elisa Arguelles, Ana Rojas, Lizbeth Castellano, and Peng Zhang.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 4, 2016) – The top 11 of the more than 1,300 University of Miami employees who registered for Walking ’Canes this year to quantify and increase their daily physical activity, namely walking, were recognized for their success Thursday at a breakfast hosted by Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., dean of the Miller School of Medicine.
Supported by the Department of Wellness and Recreation, Walking ’Canes is a 12-week program open to all University of Miami employees who use pedometers to track the number of steps they take take each day, earning points for reaching their weekly step goal and bonus points for weight loss. At the breakfast, several of the top point-winners shared the secrets to their success. Lizbeth Castellano, the conference coordinator for the Miller School’s Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, said she gave up her car on the weekends.
“I did all my errands on foot,” Castellano said. “I saved gas, spent less money because I only bought what I could carry, and I lost an average of 1.3 pounds a week.”
This year’s top winner, Isabel Felipe, senior administrative assistant in the Miller School’s Department of Medicine, said she was motivated to participate by her health. “My doctor told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I was at risk for developing diabetes. That got my attention. By the end of the program, I lost 13 percent of my body weight and I feel great!”
“Healthy employees are productive employees,” said Tony Musto, director of fitness programs at the Patti and Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness & Wellness Center. “Offering employee wellness programs like Walking ’Canes shows employees that the University genuinely cares about their health and well-being.”
Including Castellano and Felipe, the top participants, who represented a variety of University departments from both the Coral Gables and Miller School campuses, are:
- Elisa Arguelles, surgical oncology fellowship coordinator, Department of Surgery
- Ana Martha Ayala, director, College of Engineering
- Pamela Capman, training specialist, Office of Research Administration
- Lizbeth Castellano, conference coordinator, Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology
- Isabel Felipe, senior administrative assistant, Department of Medicine
- Juniette Fiore, communications specialist, College of Arts & Sciences
- Carmen Ortega, secretary, Department of Psychology
- Marta Pina, administrative assistant, Radiation Control Center
- Ana Rojas, manager, Imaging Core for Research and Training
- Kris Roth, grant accountant, Office of Research Administration
- Peng Zhang, postdoctoral associate, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
As Musto noted, “Walking ’Canes is popular because of its simple approach to increasing daily physical activity. Since time is often the greatest barrier to exercise, the idea behind Walking ’Canes is for participants to increase their healthy lifestyle activities—the things they do every day—without the need to go to a gym.”
Prizes this year included airline tickets courtesy of the UM’s Business Services and tickets to an event at the BankUnited Center, courtesy of Global Spectrum. BUC tickets were raffled off to Zhang and Rojas. For being the top two point earners, Felipe and Pina were awarded a roundtrip airline ticket.
More information about Walking ’Canes is available online at www.miami.edu/walkingcanes.