October Wellness Ambassador of the Month | Heather Martin
- I try to make talking about wellness a regular practice. Talking about wellness creates a culture where wellness is a priority. Helping people get started with one small step is how wellness happens. Eventually the healthier choice is the easiest choice.
Wellness Ambassador of the Month
Heather Martin of the Department of Pharmacy
How long have you worked at UC Davis?
I have worked at UC Davis for 2.5 years.
What does Wellness mean to you?
Wellness is a state of awareness that fosters your physical and mental health through conscious intention. Living in wellness means accepting your individual circumstances, developing intentional habits, and striving for goals that sustain health and wellbeing.
Why did you become a wellness ambassador?
As a clinical pharmacist much of my professional career has been spent helping people who live with chronic medical conditions achieve health goals, often through the use of medications. What I noticed over time is that many chronic conditions are preventable or reversible when people adopt healthy habits, even at times leading to the need for less medication. I earned a certified health coach credential and made it a focus of my patient care practice to focus on healthy behavior changes. It is extremely gratifying to help someone improve their health and prevent disease by building healthy habits. Being a wellness ambassador felt like a natural extension of my professional work. Everyone benefits from adopting a wellness mindset.
How long have you been a wellness ambassador?
Close to 2 years.
What has been the most rewarding or positive about your experience thus far?
Connecting with other wellness ambassadors in our department and collaborating on a wellness mini-grant project. We were able to coordinate the Department of Pharmacy "Daily Dose of Wellness Challenge" in 2021. There were 132 members of our department who participated. Our colleagues increased their activity levels, bonded with coworkers, and had a lot of fun in the process.
What are some challenges you face as a wellness ambassador, especially through the pandemic this past year?
Health care professionals are caregivers of others by training. We are really good at taking care of our patients but have to pay extra attention to taking care of ourselves. During the COVID-19 pandemic our workloads have also increased in many cases. This is something the wellness ambassadors at UCDH pay extra attention to. Supporting our colleagues in self-care to prevent burnout.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with new wellness ambassadors?
Reach out to meet other wellness ambassadors. They can share ideas and best practices for how to get started. Also, find out what the wellness priorities are for your work team. Send a survey or lead a discussion at a meeting. Starting with something that is of high interest in your team can build momentum for future engagement in wellness activities.
Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being aims to build an environment that makes the healthier choice the easier one, while providing staff and faculty with the required support to make UC Davis the healthiest community. How do you feel you have contributed to our mission?
I try to make talking about wellness a regular practice. Talking about wellness creates a culture where wellness is a priority. Helping people get started with one small step is how wellness happens. Eventually each small step builds and the healthier choice is the easy choice.
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Spending time with people I love, laughing, and being active (walking, biking, or hitting the gym) are my go-to stress busters. They help me stay resilient and make other healthy habits easier to sustain.