Leanne Knox, Safety and Wellness Coordinator, Albemarle County
Your job title is Safety and Wellness Coordinator. What, in your own words, would you say you do?
I coordinate programs to improve and promote safety and wellness for our employees. One example is onsite flu vaccination clinics at more than 50 County locations – my role includes working with Purchasing to contract a vendor, then contacting the various schools and departments to schedule space and times. Finally I promote the clinics to our employees with the help of our Wellness Champions through email, flyers, our website (firstname.lastname@example.org), and announcements.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part is when I get to see a program really help an employee. We coordinated with UVA Mobile Mammography to offer screenings, and one employee was informed that she had a lump in her breast. She had been planning to have a mammogram later in the summer but then thought, “This is so easy because it will be really close to my workplace, and it will save me time.” With early detection and treatment, she was able to get help and change a life-threatening situation. She was even able to do the Women’s Four Miler later that year as a SURVIVOR!
The most difficult part is when employees get hurt at work. The safety side of my job includes managing workers compensation and OSHA reporting, therefore I hear about every injury in our organization. Often it is public safety employees like police or fire rescue, but accidents happen in all occupations – teachers, bus drivers, maintenance and office workers. We always look for ways to prevent future accidents, and it is definitely a team approach.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
This is an easy one – when our employees are safe and well, they are better able to serve the citizens of Albemarle County.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the County?
One project that has been interesting and far reaching is CPR, AED and First Aid training for licensed school personnel. In 2013 legislation was passed that mandated training for teachers and other licensed school employees in Virginia. The team that worked on this for Albemarle County Public Schools has done a great job of meeting the requirement with a very short timeline and limited budget.
What is a little-known fact about you?
When my son was in Kindergarten, he and I helped his school with a fun science project that resulted in 26 baby bearded dragons being born at our house on the 4th of July!