FAIRBURY — Jefferson Community Health Center was one of 50 organizations to receive the Governor’s Wellness Award. Recipients were honored at luncheons in Gering, Kearney and Lincoln. JCHC was honored at the luncheon held Oct. 7 during the Nebraska Safety, Wellness and Environmental Conference.
JCHC received the Grower level of the award, which recognizes JCHC for having a “mature program experiencing health behavior changes,” according to emcee Rod Fowler. JCHC received the Sower level of the award three years ago.
At the Lincoln conference, awards were presented by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. He said he has given 252 awards since the program began 7 years ago.
“I am very proud of employers across the state who are investing in the health of their employees by providing worksite wellness programs and reaching the level of excellence necessary to receive the Governor’s Wellness Award,” Heineman said. “Wellness programs are successful because they empower employees to make good decisions about their health and take action to avoid chronic illnesses that can adversely impact quality of life. Prevention and wellness efforts lead to healthier employees, increased productivity, better employee satisfaction and lower future health care costs.”
Gov. Heineman is a strong supporter of wellness.
“Wellness works every time. It’s something that’s beneficial for all Nebraskans and it’s one more way that living in Nebraska is living ‘The Good Life,’” he said.
Jefferson Community Health Center has seen a positive effect on employee health from continued participation in the JCHC employee wellness program. Of JCHC employees who have continued participation in the program, diabetes risk has decreased from 25.9 percent at risk to 19.4 percent at risk. Continuing participants have increased physical activity by 5 percent. And the number of continuing participants with ideal BMI of less than 25 increased to 45.7 percent from 37 percent.
The long-term goal is to increase employee participation in SimplyWell to 100 percent voluntary participation. In addition, the employee wellness program challenges employees to engage in the process of choosing to live a healthier lifestyle.
Photo: from left,Dr. Joseph Acierno, Chief Medical Officer and Director for the Division of Public Health for the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services; Lana Likens, JCHC director of public relations; Craig Johnson, WorkWell Committee Chair for the Nebraska Safety Council Board of Directors; Kathy Helmink RN CDE, JCHC director of wellness; and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman.More