Story and photos by CDCR/CCHCS staff

Employees from CDCR and CCHCS gathered at their respective headquarters to launch a weekly training program to help potential runners prepare for the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run in June. The run benefits Special Olympics. This is a combined effort for one Torch Run team.

According to Employee Health & Wellness (EHW), the joint training program will include weekly walks or runs during employees’ lunch breaks.

“CDCR raises a lot of money for Special Olympics,” said Jeffrey Callison, Assistant Secretary for CDCR’s Office of Public and Employee Communications. “If you’ve never done the Torch Run before, it can be hot but very rewarding.”

Bobbie Hammond, Associate Director for EHW, said they are making the training fun and offer electronic means of tracking progress, such as cell phone apps.

In Elk Grove, California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) launched the training program on April 2.

Elk Grove campus staff held a joint event at CCHCS Headquarters to kick off the countdown to the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run to the State Capitol on June 22. Local fitness-themed vendors came out to support staff with free giveaways and special state employee promotions.

On hand to welcome the staff and speak about the Torch Run were Albert Rivas, CDCR Chief of Office of External Affairs; Jasinda Muhammad, Deputy Director, CCHCS Human Resources; and Jan O’Neill, Section Chief, Disability Management & Employee Wellness Services.

“Health care and custody staff at the institutions have been bringing awareness and fundraising for the Special Olympics for many years,” said Muhammad. “This year we wanted to enhance those efforts and get staff from our headquarters locations involved as well.”

Staff were invited to register for a weekly Wellness Torch Run Training Program in order to prepare for a fun and more active participation on the June 22 event. Staff then enjoyed a group walk/jog on one of the training courses.

“Our CCHCS Employee Wellness staff dressed up in bright pink tutus to encourage walkers and runners, “ said O’Neill.

These weekly lunchtime wellness programs will be held at both CDCR and CCHCS headquarters.  Visit the Special Olympics page on Lifeline for more information regarding both training schedules and routes.