November 24th, 2004

Great River Medical Center has renewed its status as one of America’s healthiest companies by receiving the Wellness Councils of America’s bronze Well Workplace Award. Established in 1991, the awards initiative recognizes companies that meet strict standards for improving employee health. Well workplaces are reviewed every three years; the hospital received its first award in 2001.

The Bronze Award recognizes companies that have obtained strong senior-level support, created integrated wellness teams, collected strategic organizational health data and are delivering tailored programs to meet their company’s needs.

“Great River Medical Center’s employee wellness program has many strengths,” employee wellness supervisor Jamie Dengler said. “Since we received the first bronze award, we added employer-paid health-risk and medical assessments for employees and their spouses who participate in the program. This includes a cholesterol lipid panel, blood pressure, body-fat analysis and wellness counseling. From this information, we track changes in the individual and in the aggregate group.”

Assessment results are used to offer programs to improve employees’ health. They include:
• Building Blocks, an incentive program that focuses on exercise, diet, stress-reducing activities and work-family balancing activities. In the last eight-month program, 132 employees lost a total of 1,015 pounds.
• Discount on Moving Beyond Diets intuitive eating program
• Discount on therapeutic massage
• Free membership to the Center for Rehabilitation’s fitness center or aquatics program
• Monthly Healthy and Fit in 2004 programs on health-related topics

William Kizer Sr. ignited the national “well workplace” movement. In 1987, he formed the Wellness Councils of America, a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting healthier lifestyles for all Americans, especially through health-promotion initiatives at the work site.