Davenport Schools to Participate In Happiness Advantage Workshops - Genesis Health System

Published on December 19, 2019

Davenport Schools to Participate In Happiness Advantage Workshops

DAVENPORT, IA. – Dec. 19, 2019 -- Genesis Health System and the QC Coalition for Happiness and Well-Being will provide a positive psychology workshop for the more than 250 faculty and staff of Sudlow Intermediate School and Davenport Central High School on Jan.17, 2020.

On Dec. 3, Dr. Scott Bernick, CEO of Animal Family Veterinary Care Center (AFVCC); Dougal Nelson, CEO of Junior Achievement; Scott VanDeWoestyne, Director of Talent for The City of Davenport; Brandi Tiesman, Director of Human Resources, Genesis Health System; and, Deb Anselm, Publisher of the Quad-City Times, agreed to provide support to introduce the power of positive psychology to faculty and staff at Sudlow and Central. 

Genesis Health System, the primary community-based health care provider in the Quad-Cities, has been on a two-year journey to increase the happiness and well-being of its staff and improve patient experience.   

In 2017, Genesis introduced employees to the evidence-based research of Shawn Achor, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage. Achor is widely acclaimed for his time teaching the most popular course at Harvard, where he won more than a dozen distinguished teaching awards.

Jordan Voigt, President of Genesis Medical Center Davenport, said, “Genesis has experienced the benefits of this training for our staff and is excited to help provide this training in Davenport schools.  Our experience is that by training staff about positivity and choosing happiness, our patients also benefit.’’

In the process of their happiness transformation, Genesis staff inspired other organizations and community partners of the Quad Cities region to come together and merge efforts to improve the well-being of the community. 

“When we encounter challenges or face difficulties, the best way to propel ourselves forward is to focus on what is going right, invest in the people around us, and operate with the belief that our behavior matters.  Happiness includes the realization that together we can to reach our highest potential,” Voigt added.

In the past, Genesis has opened its doors to community organizations to participate in its internal Happiness Advantage workshops.  This training activity with Central and Sudlow schools staff marks the first time Genesis trainers and other members of the QC Coalition have brought their Happiness Advantage workshops to educators.

“This is a major undertaking,’’ said Joel Moore, manager of the Genesis Cancer Care Institute and certified trainer of the Happiness Advantage workshop.  “Our typical workshops are for 20-30 people, but with the support of other members of the community, we are going to make this happen.’’

Participating in the Davenport schools training will be Iowa’s 2019-2020 School Superintendent of the Year, Joel Pedersen from Cardinal Community School district, Eldon, Iowa.  Cardinal has experienced impressive, measurable benefits in student performance attributed to the district’s participation in Happiness Advantage training.

“A positive, engaged brain improves performance, pride, and culture, and helps us retain our best teachers.  It also deepens student, family, and community relationships,” according to Pedersen.

“The Happiness Advantage, also known as Orange Frog Workshop, comes at a time where our school staff is faced with challenging student behaviors, accountability, budget shortfalls, and technology changes,’’ said Tonya Wilkins, principal, Sudlow Intermediate School. “Having the stamina to balance all of this while impacting a positive school culture can be exhausting.

“I believe our staff has the capacity to do all of this and enjoy their lives while doing it.  This opportunity has given me encouragement to keep moving us forward and inevitably have our positive climate and culture spilling into the community.  I am so grateful for the connections and future endeavors with Genesis and the City of Davenport.’’

About Genesis:

Genesis Health System, its affiliates and partners, offer a continuum of health care services for a 12-county region of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Our affiliates include: hospital care at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport and DeWitt, Iowa and at Genesis Medical Center, Silvis and Genesis Medical Center, Aledo, Ill.; home health and hospice services through Genesis VNA and Hospice; Genesis Workplace Services, including occupational health, employee assistance program and wellness services for employers and their employees; the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House; senior living communities; Genesis Health Group, with more than 200 health care providers; the Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine Residency program; Genesis Psychology Associates; Genesis Convenient Care clinics; and, Genesis Home Medical Equipment. Partners include Crow Valley Surgery Center, Bettendorf; Center for Digestive Health, Bettendorf; Spring Park Surgery Center, Davenport; and, Genesis Imaging Centers. Genesis manages Jackson County Regional Health Center, Maquoketa, Iowa. Genesis is one of the largest employers in the Quad Cities region with more than 5,000 employees.  For more information, visit www.genesishealth.com.

About Shawn Achor: 

Shawn Achor has become one of the world's leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. His research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review and his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with more than 20 million views. Oprah Winfrey did a two-hour interview with Achor on the science of happiness. Additionally, he has collaborated with the Pentagon, the U.S. Treasury, and been invited to the White House.

About QC Coalition for Happiness: 

The QC Coalition for Happiness and Wellbeing is a consortium of organizations dedicated to bringing the research on happiness to life in the Quad Cities.  The coalition was borne out of the desire to support one another by members of Genesis Health System, AFVCC and the City of Davenport.  Today the coalition’s goal is to expand its membership to any organization in the Quad Cities region.  Genesis Health System offers free attendance in ongoing workshops at its facilities.

For more information about the QC Coalition contact Joel Moore. moorejoel@genesishealth.com.


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