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Community Hospital Receives Governor’s Wellness Award

October 30, 2014

Community Hospital Wellness Coordinator, Sarah Wolford receives the Governor’s Wellness Grower award from Gov. Dave Heineman and Joseph M. Acierno Chief Medical Officer for the State of Nebraska, for Community Hospital’s successful employee wellness program.

McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital was one of 50 Nebraska employers receiving the 2014 Governor’s Wellness Award last week. Sarah Wolford, Community Hospital Wellness Coordinator and Karen Kliment Thompson, Vice President of Ancillary Services received the Grower Award from Gov. Dave Heineman in September.

The Governor’s Wellness Award honors businesses for successful efforts in promoting workplace wellness. A total of 252 awards have been given since the program began seven years ago. Nebraska is one of only a handful of states nationwide honoring wellness efforts of employers.

“These awards recognize employers for their serious commitment to employee well-being,” said Gov. Heineman. “Prevention and wellness efforts in the workplace have produced higher productivity, better employee satisfaction and helped control health care costs. Wellness works every time and I applaud these employers for making this investment”

The award was created to recognize Nebraska employers who have developed successful models for encouraging wellness at work. Representatives from companies and organizations in greater Nebraska were honored at luncheons in Gering and Kearney last week. The final awards luncheon, open to all award recipients including those in Lincoln and Omaha, will take place in Lincoln on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

Factors considered for the award include the level of support for the program by company leaders, assessment of employee needs, wellness plan design, outcomes and benefits, and policies supporting healthy behaviors. Wellness programs typically provide employees with health education, health screenings and opportunities for exercise.

Dr. Joseph Acierno, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Department of Health and Human Services, said, “These programs are helping more Nebraskans lead healthier lives and we hope to encourage more businesses in Nebraska to offer employee health and wellness programs. The Nebraska Worksite Wellness Toolkit on the DHHS website is a great resource for employers interested in developing or expanding their wellness programs. ”

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 status through their wellness programs.

Nebraska businesses can apply for the Governor’s Wellness Award online at Awards are presented annually and are good for three years. The award program is a partnership of the Office of the Governor, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and WorkWell/Nebraska Safety Council. The Nebraska Worksite Wellness Toolkit can be found at

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