Gov. Ricketts honors 2020 Wellness Award recipients

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 9:19 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is honoring Nebraska employers who have dedicated leadership, resources, and time to wellness in the workplace.

In the midst of a pandemic keeping employees healthy is easier said than done.

That’s why the 2020 Governor’s Wellness Awards honoring 14 companies stepping up to improve overall wellness is all the more special.

“It’s not only important for the person, we want to keep people healthy and that leads to overall better quality of life, but it also helps the organization,” said Ricketts.

In the 13 years, this award has been handed out - there have been 480 winners.

“The wellness award is designed to recognize businesses that have planted and nurtured the seeds of wellness in their organizations,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, DHHS Director of Public Health.

Organizations like school districts, private colleges, and life insurance companies were honored in-person today.

Jared Carlson with Assurity Insurance says with the pandemic forcing 90% of their employees to work from home - they’ve kept wellness on the forefront.

“This month we’ve been competing in a competitive step it up challenge to help, you know, encourage our associates to get up and move around. And next month we’re hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic,” said Carlson.

Nicole Hall, accepting the governor’s award on behalf of the Education Service Unit 6, says this is their third time receiving the honor.

Hall said they’re starting to see a real change with employee mentality when it comes to taking charge of their own health.

"When you hear people say “I’m not bringing donuts to work because no one eats them anymore” or see large water bottles on people desks - you know you’re on the right track. We have 86 staff members and almost all of them participate in our wellness program in some way," said Hall.

For other companies now wanting to kick start their own wellness programs, Nebraska DHHS has a tool kit available to get you going.

The Governor’s Wellness Award has three levels - The Sower Award, The Grower Award, and The Harvester Award.

This year 4 companies were awarded the first level and 10 companies were honored with the second level grower award.

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