April Wellness Ambassadors of the Month | Patty Covington-Fleming & Sonya Abel

April Wellness Ambassadors of the Month | Patty Covington-Fleming & Sonya Abel

Wellness Ambassadors of the Month
Patty Covington-Fleming & Sonya Abel, Human Resources - Cousteau

How long have you worked at UC Davis?

Patty Covington-Fleming: I have worked at UC Davis for seven years, since January, 2014.

Sonya Abel: 5 years. 

Why did you become a wellness ambassador?

Patty Covington-Fleming: I became a wellness ambassador because I wanted to provide staff with wellness activities and ensure they had opportunities to take breaks away from work.  I also wanted them to be aware of the different types of activities the campus has to offer.   

Sonya Abel: I wanted to help give our department a sense of comfort and wellness through activities.

How long have you been a wellness ambassador?

Patty Covington-Fleming: Five years. I have been a wellness ambassador since the program started, which I believe was in late 2015.

Sonya Abel: 2 ½ years.

What has been the most rewarding or positive about your experience thus far?

Patty Covington-Fleming: The most rewarding part of being a wellness ambassador has been to see employees participate and enjoy the wellness activities.  We have had positive feedback from employees who truly appreciate the events we have, so that has been very rewarding.  I have also really enjoyed working with my Wellness Ambassador colleagues in planning events for our employees.

Sonya Abel: Enjoying the sense of comradery when a group of my colleagues get together and unwind or get active. 

What are some challenges you face as a wellness ambassador?

Patty Covington-Fleming: It has been challenging due to the shutdown of the campus.  We’ve had to pivot and plan different types of virtual activities.  Participation has been a challenge in the past and we’ve had participation raffles which has helped!

Sonya Abel: Lately not feeling engaged enough while telecommuting. While in the office feeling limited by time constraints to offer enough assistance to my fellow ambassadors. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with new wellness ambassadors?

Patty Covington-Fleming: Find out what the employees in your unit want to see in terms of wellness programming. Send a brief survey to get their input and ensure you have a broad selection of activities that is inclusive and has wide appeal. Try to offer different types of activities that could help with physical and emotional well-being.  

Sonya Abel: Generate an enthusiasm for the role. It helps you carry your message. 

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?

Patty Covington-Fleming: I feel I have contributed by continuing to offer different types of wellness activities, in collaboration with other Wellness Ambassadors in our unit/building.  In the past we have offered tai chi, yoga, walking breaks, stretch breaks, meditation, coloring/puzzles, gardening, Walker Tracker challenges, healthy potlucks and more!  We stress the importance of stepping away from your desk and focusing on some non-work fun.  We’ve also put together “re-connect” zoom sessions where employees can simply interact with one another.  Due to the campus closure, employees no longer have the opportunity for a brief chat in the break room to catch up, so these lunchtime sessions are a great way for them to have that interaction.  

Sonya Abel: I have contributed by participating in our activities and facilitating some coloring and other lunch activities. I try to attend all the Wellness ambassador meetings. 

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Patty Covington-Fleming: I enjoy working out, stretching, going for walks, and trying new plant based recipes.  

Sonya Abel: Currently working on my new home. Previously riding my bicycle. 

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