BMH-UC staff members see benefits from change

BMH-UC staff members see benefits from change

Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2008 7:00 pm
By: Casey Curlin, Messenger intern

By CASEY CURLIN Messenger Intern With one simple act, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City and its employees are realizing three-fold benefits. The hospital recently installed a bike rack outside the radiology department entrance to accommodate several members of the radiology department staff who have taken to riding their bikes to work as opposed to driving. The employees are saving gas, getting healthier and releasing fewer harmful gas emissions into the atmosphere. Radiology employee Gina Ward of Rives has been cycling to work for years, but Michael Cloyd of Union City started the trend and, gradually, Jody Adams, Joey Tucker and Vicki Whaley, all of Union City, followed his lead. “They made fun of me at first and then they all started doing it,” Cloyd joked. The main reason the employees have been cycling to work is because of the current staggeringly high gas prices. “Jody and I just live three blocks away, so it’s ridiculous to start up a truck that gets 10 miles per gallon every day,” Tucker said. Cloyd added that he only has to fill up his vehicle once a month since he began cycling to work. In addition to saving gas, the workers are helping the environment by releasing less carbon dioxide from their cars and some, as an added bonus, have lost weight. Before the rack was installed, bikers could only chain their bikes to nearby railings or prop them up against buildings, but the purchase of the rack has actually increased the number of bike riders, according to Kara Ward, marketing and public relations coordinator at BMH-UC. There are five people from radiology using the bike rack, which holds up to eight bikes, but Cloyd says there have been other bikes parked on it before. The purchase of the bike rack was suggested at a monthly Service First Council meeting, comprised of various hospital staff members, when the radiology department began showing interest. It was a $300 investment and took only a few weeks to purchase and install. Mrs. Ward said she hopes the hospital’s approach to greener and healthier transportation will inspire other businesses in town to take the same stance. According to Mrs. Ward, Baptist Memorial is willing to place more racks around the hospital if more interest is shown in cycling to the hospital. Casey Curlin, a Fulton native, is a communications major at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Published in The Messenger 7.3.08

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