At PPD we are guided by our Defining Principles. We hire the best and recognize the power of being one team. Millie Camacho, Florence Thomas and Florence’s daughter, Kathryn Thomas, are strong examples of PPD’s goal to work together to achieve our purpose, mission and strategy.
Millie, executive assistant of finance, Florence, senior project assistant of clinical management, and Kathryn, project assistant of clinical management, met through PPD’s first Wellness Transformation team more than five years ago. “Our desire to work out has kept our friendship strong,” says Florence. When Kathryn joined PPD more than a year ago, she began working out with Millie and Florence. The three women shared that they initially joined the group when seeking an enjoyable way to work out. The trio push one another to attend the work out classes, and attending together has become a routine.
The group eventually grew close and became friends. “We push each other and the others in the group with friendly rivalry, but also provide positive feedback daily to help each other along through the class and through the program,” Florence explains. “We enjoy each other’s company and each other’s ‘nudges’ to get down to the gym every day!”
Millie is grateful for the bond that has formed between them: “Spending that much time together can make you really close. We share stories in the locker room and laugh together. We push each other and hold each other accountable. We check in at home with what we had for dinner to make sure we are not getting off track. It’s great to have them in my corner.”
“We have what we like to call our ‘arsenal’ of work outs,” says Kathryn. “When we take a class we like, we will put our heads together and try and write it down so that if we ever need to do our own thing, we have options.”
At PPD we pride ourselves on a healthy work/life balance. We asked the team how they feel the work out classes have improved their lives. “Getting healthier has really improved my life,” says Millie. “I feel stronger with more energy to tackle the rest of my day. It is also a great stress reliever—a way to get away from your busy desk and just focus on something for yourself.”
Florence adds, “I think that working out at the gym together has improved my personal life as it makes me feel better and gives me more energy to get through my day and anything that may come along during the day. The break during the middle of the day gets me away from my desk for just enough time that I feel energized for the rest of the afternoon. It has helped me to be not as sedentary as I once was. It clears my brain from any morning stresses I may have encountered and gets me ready to take on the afternoon.” Kathryn agrees: “We are more confident. For me personally, I look more forward to going to work knowing we have a work out class in the middle of the day, and it also helps the second half of our work day when we get up and are active during lunch. Sitting in front of a computer for eight hours isn’t always easy, but this makes it easier.”
These women encompass what it means to Be One PPD: They work together to achieve their goals and agree that “a healthy me is a healthy PPD.”
Millie, Florence and Kathryn shared some advice for those who want to join the workout classes or want to overall improve their health. Florence suggests bringing a friend: “The more you come, the easier the classes get and the more you will want to keep coming back to see what the next day’s challenge will be.”
“Don’t be intimidated. Before the Original Transformation Program, I didn’t really go to the gym. I had no idea how to use the equipment and the thought of going to a class where people would see how weak and inexperienced I was terrified me. But then we realized no one is looking at you. We are all struggling to get through the exercises,” says Millie. “Start slow; pick the classes that you enjoy but that challenge you.” Kathryn agrees: “A lot of people are worried about being looked at and starting a work out journey, but everyone is so supportive. It really is something to look forward to. Push your partners in a supportive, motivating way. It helps having people to go with to hold you accountable, but even if you don’t have anyone to start with, that can come later. You meet so many people that come down every day. And if not, we can be your group!”