November 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 7 
Special Features

A feel-good story

BoeingWellness program helps make health a priority

A feel-good storyYou'd have to look hard to find a Boeing employee whose life hasn't been touched by the BoeingWellness program during the last year.

More than 82,000 employees have registered to use for access to Mayo Clinic's online world of health information and wellness tools. About 48,000 learned more about their personal health by taking the online Health Risk Assessment this past spring. More than 57,000 employees at 100 Boeing sites received a free flu shot in 2003.

But as impressive as the numbers are, even more inspiring are the stories of the individuals who have taken action and directly benefitted from Boeing's Wellness programs.

Watching weight disappear ... and health improve

What a difference 47 pounds make.

Before she joined Weight Watchers At Work, Marion Gazdak was on two different medications for high blood pressure. She sometimes found playing with her grandkids a physical challenge, and she couldn't climb three flights of stairs without becoming out of breath.

Now, six months after starting a regular exercise program and adopting the Weight Watchers approach to healthy eating, Gazdak's blood pressure has dropped to 120/70, within the normal range. She's been able to go off one of her blood pressure medicines, and she easily climbs the three flights of stairs to get to her desk in Boeing's Roses computer facility in Huntington Beach, Calif. And the grandkids—well, she now gives them a run for their money.

"I feel fantastic," Gazdak said. "For the first time in my life, I didn't go on a diet just to lose weight. Instead, I made long-term improvements to my lifestyle and shed some excess weight as a result."

The convenience of Weight Watchers At Work and the support of coworkers have been key. "Attending Weight Watchers meetings here at work during lunch is so convenient," she said. "It's a five-minute walk from my desk."

Coworkers from Gazdak's group have also started going to meetings. "The support we're able to offer each other is invaluable," she said. "We all want to continue feeling great, and we help each other keep that in mind."

Don't currently have a Weight Watchers at Work program in your area? If you'd like to start one, send an e-mail to denise., and she'll help you get one going. Also, visit to learn about the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Program (click on the Health Programs & Tools tab) and discover what's available in your area (click on the My Work Site Programs tab).

Health and wellness aren't just for women

Men need to take action, too. Rich Smoski, who recently moved into a new role as vice president of Finance Transformation, started a journey earlier this year to get healthy. He even agreed to share his "wellness makeover" to help others on their way to greater well-being.

Smoski wanted to make sure he stays healthy for many years to enjoy his grandchildren. He started with a visit to his doctor, a weight-loss goal of 25 to 30 pounds and a commitment to using the tools and resources available to him as a Boeing employee. By the time six months had passed, he'd lowered his cholesterol to healthy levels and shed 35 pounds—allowing him to get rid of what he referred to as the "men's maternity pants" he had been wearing in April.

To learn more about Smoski's diet and exercise plan—and track his month-by-month progress since April 2004—log on to and look for the "Rich's Journey" icon on the right column.

Make the Smokeout last a lifetime

Thousands of people across the United States will observe the 27th annual Great American Smokeout on Nov. 18 by giving up tobacco for the day. Boeing employees, spouses and dependents 18 years or older can celebrate in style—and give tobacco the slip for good—by signing up for the Free & Clear program at no cost to them.

This award-winning quit-tobacco program features free nicotine replacement therapy mailed to the participants' home addresses when it's part of their personalized quit-tobacco plans. The program also offers one-on-one telephone support from trained quit-tobacco professionals.

According to the American Cancer Society, research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have this kind of support. Smokers who quit cold turkey have about a 5 percent chance of quitting for good, while those who get the kind of support offered through Free & Clear increase their chances of becoming permanently tobacco-free to 25 to 30 percent.

To learn more about how you can join the more than 3,760 Boeing people who have enrolled in Free & Clear, call 1-800-292-2336 or visit



Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.