By Josh Heck
The program recognizes local companies that exemplify the best in health and wellness programs.
The winners will be recognized during the fifth annual Working Well Conference Aug. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Wichita.
The coalition says Westar Energy and Royal Caribbean were selected based on their extensive range of program services for their employees as well as high participation rates in wellness programs.
Royal Caribbean has an 80 percent participation rate in its programs, which include lunch-and-learns, health fairs and walking paths.
Meanwhile, Westar Energy executives created a 10-minute video providing personal messages on health and wellness. Westar employees also are eligible to participate in free, on-site comprehensive screenings once a year. Westar backs its wellness program with healthy policies, ranging from healthier food alternatives in vending machines to a no-smoking policy.
Additionally, The Greteman Group will be honored for the most innovative program.
In all, 18 companies submitted applications for the wellness awards.
“If we can have an impact on employees’ lives … then they will be healthier and their health care costs will be less,” says Gary Hardman, president of Hardman Benefit Plans Inc., whose company is an event sponsor.
Mim Wilkey, chair of the wellness coalition, says it wasn’t easy to pick the winners.
She says the winning companies beat out the others because of the variety of programs they offer, strong company leadership and their extensive evaluation processes.
“It’s all about recognizing the healthiest places to work,” says Wilkey, who also is the executive director of community development for the Greater Wichita YMCA. “We want to celebrate the companies that want the most healthy and productive employees.”
She says businesses can look to previous award winners as examples of corporate wellness.
During the conference, representatives from 2008’s winning companies are scheduled to participate in roundtable discussions about their respective wellness programs and the importance of a healthy work force.
High Touch, the Nordam Group and the Breakthrough Club of Sedgwick County won the 2008 awards.
Other speakers at the 2009 conference include Dr. Troy Adams, vice president of WellSteps and a principal in Lifestyle Research Group and Walker. Keener, human resource director for Power Flame Inc.