Choptank Transport: A Healthiest Maryland Businesses Success Story
Maryland-based logistics provider Choptank Transport helps move goods all over the country — but it’s the way Choptank is moving its employees that makes them a Healthiest Maryland Business Success Story.
Choptank, founded in 1984 in Preston, specializes in analyzing the logistics needs of shippers to determine the most suitable and efficient mode of transportation for their goods — such as refrigerated trucks, flatbed trucks, dry vans, rail or air services.
Choptank’s mission statement exemplifies the company’s commitment to its 135 employees: “By providing an exceptional work environment, our team will be better able to provide superior service to our customers offering effective and efficient freight movement solutions.”
No one has shown this dedication more than Choptank President/CEO Geoff Turner, who strongly believes in the importance of offering education on health and wellness, along with on-site access to exercise. When Choptank’s first addition was built in 2005, an oversized office was turned into an exercise room. Then, during another expansion five years later, a larger exercise room was constructed that included a full shower and washroom, a flat screen TV and additional exercise equipment. (Working out in Choptank Transport’s exercise room are employees (from left) Charlene Keller on the treadmill, David Gardner on the multipurpose bars, and Ernie Beath, lifting weights. The room also is used for exercise classes.)
Meanwhile, the Real Age Wellness Series is a year-long program generating a lot of excitement at Choptank Transport. Participating employees answer questions online to evaluate their health status and are provided with personalized health-improvement recommendations.
Participants attend monthly lectures led by Paula Greer, MSN, a nurse-midwife who provides encouragement, support and guidance on reaching health and fitness goals. Employees who make the most progress toward their health goals are eligible to win generous prizes, up to an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to be in the audience of “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Choptank has implemented a number of other employee wellness activities as well, including:
• Vending machine overhaul and fruit table
• Free annual flu shots
• Monthly massage days—a 20-minute massage for $20
• “Biggest loser” contests
• Blood pressure screenings
• Biometric screenings
• Smoking cessation classes
Choptank’s wellness efforts are making a measurable difference: in the first three months of the wellness program, average employee weight dropped by 15 pounds, and average BMI dropped from 31 to 29.8.
Pam Hutchinson, Choptank’s human resources manager, said that although some companies might view a wellness program as an unnecessary expense, Choptank views it as an investment.
“After all, if you ran a manufacturing facility, you would take the time to maintain your equipment so it could operate in the most efficient manner possible,” Hutchinson said. “Why wouldn’t you give your employees the same consideration? It’s the right thing to do and it’s just good business.”