Manager of the inter-company health promotion network in Adlershof: In conversation with Ralf Blank

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03. May 2018

Manager of the inter-company health promotion network in Adlershof

In conversation with Ralf Blank

Ralf Blank

He’s no doctor, nor an ascetic, but his mission is to live a healthy life and help others do the same. This is one of many reasons why Ralf Blank is an ideal fit for running a project like the Health Network Adlershof, which launched in March with a Day of Health event. Germany’s largest model project of its kind organises workplace health promotion across companies. The youthful 50-year-old is an experienced manager who worked for many companies, including health insurance providers. He has been working as a freelance business consultant and a CEO coach since 2011. He gained experience with large health networks during a stint at the Biotechpark Berlin-Buch, which has had an inter-university workplace health promotion network for three years. Since Buch and Adlershof’s structure are similar, with their mixture of research institutes and companies, he is familiar with the clientele. The scope of Adlershof, however, is a challenge, he tells us during the following interview.

What is the Health Network Adlershof?

It’s all about workplace health promotion, which is organised by WISTA-MANAGEMENT GMBH (WISTA) in cooperation with the health insurance provider Techniker Krankenkasse and the over 1,000 companies and institutes of the Science City Adlershof. The network provides free-of-charge prevention and sports courses as well as management training, seminars and workshops. They range from group events to individual training as well as holistic and networked courses. Our goal is to foster the health and performance of our staff in a long-term, sustainable fashion.

Who is your target group?

All the people working on the site. We are starting with top-level staff to raise awareness for workplace health issues. Questions are: what is a health-focused management style? What can I expect from my employees? How can I tell whether my employees are overburdened or unchallenged? However, all in all, we promote self-reliance of our employees. We are currently looking for health ambassadors.

What does a health ambassador do?

Health ambassadors are the people in a company who promote health issues and measures, talk to other employees about those issues, identify workplace health demands and feed them back to the steering group of the Health Network Adlershof.

How did you first find out about Adlershof?

If you’re from Berlin, like me, you can’t miss Adlershof. I was in touch with several companies from the Technology Park when I was working as a consultant.

How do you get to work?

I use public transport.

How do you stay fit?

Enough sleep, walking much as possible, riding my bike, exercising on a regular basis. And I begin every day with a homemade smoothie.

What do you do to relax?

I am very good at unwinding. I just go outside to relax and enjoy the fresh air. I also do controlled breathing.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was always fascinated by the pyramids and becoming an explorer.

Is there something you couldn’t imagine doing?

I’m not into bungee jumping because I’m afraid of heights. But I’m sure I will challenge myself at a high ropes course one day.

What do you do in your spare time?

Berlin has so much to offer culturally, it keeps me busy. I enjoy going to the theatre – anything from experimental to classical productions – and the cinema. I prefer arthouse movies to blockbusters. The last one I saw was “Shape of Water”. I go skiing in Winter and swimming at the seaside in summer.

 

Interview by Sylvia Nitschke for Adlershof Journal

www.adlershof.de/gesund/

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