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Refreshed growing pilot programs

I.J Holton Intermediate School accepts the award for Mower Refreshed Business of the Year at the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet in February. Picture, from left, Karissa Studier (SHIP Coordinator), Jean McDermott, Sandy Anderson (Mower Refreshed Coordinator), Angie Taylor, Lynn Hemann, Rebecca Veldman, Farin Sandoz, David Krenz and Angie Goetz. Photos provided

I.J Holton Intermediate School accepts the award for Mower Refreshed Business of the Year at the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet in February. Picture, from left, Karissa Studier (SHIP Coordinator), Jean McDermott, Sandy Anderson (Mower Refreshed Coordinator), Angie Taylor, Lynn Hemann, Rebecca Veldman, Farin Sandoz, David Krenz and Angie Goetz. Photos provided

Mower Refreshed has been focused in 2015 on further expanding and developing pilot programs that are showing promise in promoting healthy living where we work, play, and learn. The annual Refreshed Business of the Year Awards (RBYA) is just one of those pilots that have formed into a specific strategy to engage local worksites in wellness promotion.

This year we expanded our collaborative sponsors to include Mower County’s Statewide Health Improvements Program (SHIP) along with the charter sponsors: Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, Mayo Clinic Health System Albert Lea & Austin (MCHS), and Mower Refreshed (MR). This growing sponsorship has increased our ability to connect and support the wellness efforts of the annual recipients of this unique award.

The 2014 RBYA recipients were announced at the annual chamber awards banquet this past month. Award winner for under 100 employees was I.J. Holton Intermediate School and for over 100 employees Hormel Foods Corporation. A couple of common themes between these organizations were:

• Simple steps taken to engage employees in wellness through a variety of ways that make healthy choices easier while at work, accommodating both employees who would describe their personalities as introverts or extroverts

• Implementation of no cost or low cost initiatives that make healthy choices easier in the cafeteria, meetings, or through practical policies.

Hillary Hanson and Mike Kadrie accept Hormel Foods Corp.’s Mower Refreshed Business of the Year Award.

Hillary Hanson and Mike Kadrie accept Hormel Foods Corp.’s Mower Refreshed Business of the Year Award.

The award recipients will be sharing stories of implementation and success in the upcoming 2015-16 Refreshed e-Newsletters and through other media venues. Our purpose is to inspire best wellness practices at work locally and ideas on ways to integrate wellness efforts into other organizations to increase productivity, decrease absenteeism and presenteeism. Overall as we partner with area businesses our goal is to improved overall health of the local workforce so healthcare costs decrease for both the employer and employees.

To read stories over the next 12 months on the how the 2014 award recipients are engaging employees in well-living, sign up for the Refreshed e-Newsletter at www.MowerRefreshed.org.