Article Contributed by
Office of the Chautauqua County Executive
Interactive Health recently named the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) as one of its 2018 “Healthiest Companies in America.”
The honor is an annual award that pays tribute to corporations in the United States that have invested in and improved the health of their workers.
Interactive Health taps companies that develop innovative ways in which to improve the health of their employees. Organizations provide opportunities such as wellness challenges, personalized coaching and information about health to their employees.
To be recognized, awardees reached or exceeded a 70 percent participation rate in their workplace wellness program and their workforce’s overall health risk was low, based on results of an annual workforce health evaluation.
“In an era of record-low unemployment, employers must differentiate themselves and show that they care,” said Interactive Health CEO Bill Goldberg. “Investing in the health of your employees not only achieves that; but has far-reaching implications across the organization. A healthier workforce is one that is happier, more engaged and more productive.”
The BPU’s health and wellness program includes activities such as on-site biometric screening and carotid artery screening offered at no charge to employees, retirees and spouses. Wellness challenges and “flash challenges” take place throughout each year aimed at drinking more water, counting steps, trying healthy recipes, to name but a few efforts. “Wellness corners” furnish printed information about health issues and blood pressure cuffs. Employees exchange summer produce and recipes.
Additional aspects of the BPU efforts are periodic “Lunch and Learns” with more than half of the workforce attending each session, addressing topics such as diabetes prevention, drug abuse, eye health and cancer prevention. A former pop and candy fund now sells healthier snacks and frozen meal options. Employees are credited with “wellness” points for activities such as doctor wellness visits, vaccinations, dental and vision appointments. Employees also earn wellness points by volunteering in outside activities such as in Battle of the Businesses, the BPU’s Cents for St. Susan’s fund drive, volunteer fire departments, planning boards and coaching sports.
The team also initiated “Work Well CHQ,” a countywide network of employers and organizations that are focused on improving their employees’ overall health through wellness programs and other means. The network meets monthly to exchange information about health and wellness programs conducted at their companies and to listen to guest speakers in the health and wellness industry.
Employees have organized “Wellness Fairs,” a hiking club and a pre-diabetes class.
The BPU Health and Wellness program won first place as a Western New York Healthiest Employer in the Medium Size Company Category sponsored by Business First in Buffalo in Fall, 2018. In the previous calendar year, the program was nominated for the same award by Business First.
BPU General Manager David L. Leathers reacted to news of the Interactive Health honor.
“I’m proud to learn of this outstanding recognition,” said Leathers. “We’ve had a very active employee health and wellness team during the last six years. This group’s enthusiasm and motivation for excellence have helped develop an exceptional program which our management and Board Members are more than willing to support.”
Members of the BPU Health & Wellness Team currently include: Martha Abers, Tammy Anderson, Dan Currie, Diondra Lopez-Chapman, Jarrett Devereaux, Todd Hoaglund, Trenton Lutes, Cynthia McFadden, Gloria Miranda, James Paterniti, Jake Prince and Rebecca Robbins. Human Resources Director Ross Snyder provides direct support to the team.
Immediate Past Team Leader Tammy Anderson said, “We are very excited that the Jamestown BPU has received this tremendous honor. We are fortunate to have a wellness team that consists of individuals who are dedicated to workplace wellness objectives. By working closely with Interactive Health, we have become a much healthier workplace.”
“Every member of our BPU Health & Wellness Team should be extremely proud of the hard work and effort that they’ve put in over the years to get us to this point,” says Team Leader Trenton Lutes. “We also can’t forget to thank all of our fellow employees at the BPU. Without their participation we would never have achieved this amazing recognition. Hopefully, with this award, we can encourage even more employees to participate in wellness programs in the years to come.”
“I believe the success of any healthcare plan is dependent on its ability to provide its members with education, resources and tools needed to maintain good health,” adds BPU Human Resources Director Ross Snyder. “The BPU Health and Wellness team strives to do just that. I’m extremely proud of their accomplishment.”
Interactive Health helps businesses invest in the health of their employees. Through personalized workforce wellness programs, Interactive Health encourages employees to adopt new habits of personalized goal-setting and resources. Interactive Health states that these habits fuel increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and fewer disability and workers’ compensation claims. Interactive Health serves more than one million people annually.
For more information on Healthiest Companies in America, visit https://www.interactivehealthinc.com/it-works/health-companies/.