Michael Ayers stands in his Target store near the Well-being Expo board.

how one team member took charge of his health (with a little help from Target)

In 2010, Michael Ayers, an executive team leader at Target’s Cape Coral, Fla. store, took advantage of the health assessment and biometric screening offered free of charge to all team members (and spouses/domestic partners) enrolled in a Target health plan. At the screening, the single father of three was surprised to learn he had diabetes.

He connected with his primary care physician who prescribed medication to help manage his condition, but Michael immediately set a personal goal to improve his health, get off the meds and control his diabetes through diet and exercise.

When Store Team Leader Scott Sousa saw how focused Michael was on improving his health, he named Michael the store’s Well-being Captain. “I think Scott knew this would be a great opportunity to drive wellness awareness in the store,” Michael says, and he was right: Michael created a well-being board and well-being stickers for team members, and he was also featured in Target’s employee-only magazine.

 “I have been talking about the health assessment and biometric screening as a way to catch diabetes early, when diet and exercise can easily be used to control it,” he says. “Because the screening is responsible for me beginning my journey to beat diabetes.”

After losing an amazing 50 pounds over the past three years, Michael reached his goal and is no longer taking medication for his diabetes. “The support from everyone at Target helped me achieve this goal,” he says. “I think it is incredible to work for a company that does so much to help its team members take care of themselves.”

Michael has inspired other team members to take charge of their health as well. “Just sharing my story with them has opened a dialogue and allowed me to help them work toward their own goals,” he says. He’s heard of multiple success stories across his entire team, including weight loss, quitting smoking, and taking on new career challenges.

Want to learn more about how we’re building a healthier, happier team? Check out our Team Member Well-Being page.

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