Gov. Ricketts Honors 2015 Recipients of the Governor’s Wellness Award

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced this year’s recipients of the Governor’s Wellness Award.  A total of 43 Nebraska employers representing 28 communities are being honored for developing and implementing successful workplace wellness programs.

“Employers receiving this award are committed to employee health and well-being,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said.  “Worksite wellness programs positively affect the health and productivity of employees as well as the bottom line.  Most importantly, worksite wellness is an opportunity for Nebraskans to live healthy lives, improve quality of life and help grow a healthier Nebraska for the next generation.”

The Governor’s Wellness Award was created eight years ago to recognize Nebraska employers who dedicate leadership, resources and time to wellness efforts in the workplace.  The Governor’s Wellness award process is a rigorous one.  Each applicant must provide information in the areas of leadership support, data collection, intervention strategies, communication planning, policy support, and evaluation and health outcomes.

“Wellness programs empower employees to make significant health improvements through health education and coaching, preventive screenings and opportunities to increase physical activity, eat healthier, quit tobacco and manage stress,” said Judy Martin, Deputy Director of Community and Environmental Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The Governor’s Wellness Award has two categories.  The Sower Award recognizes workplaces that have established quality wellness programs; the Grower Award takes it to the next level, and honors businesses and organizations demonstrating significant improvement in employee health behaviors. Including this year’s winners, close to 300 awards have been distributed across the state.

 Awards will be presented to this year’s winners at three separate award ceremonies during the months of September and October.  The award ceremonies will be held in Gering on September 22, Kearney on September 24 and in Lincoln on October 20.

 Nebraska employers can apply for the Governor’s Wellness Award online at www.nebraska.gov/wellness.  Awards are presented annually and are good for three years. The award program is a partnership of the Office of the Governor, DHHS, and the Nebraska Safety Council/WorkWell.  For employers interested in starting a wellness program or enhancing an existing one, the Nebraska Worksite Wellness Toolkit is a great resource and can be found at www.worksitewellness.ne.gov.