Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Fox Cities Businesses Take Lead In Helping Employees Have Healthier Lives

“Barbara Van Gorp knows that wellness and work go together. After a day's work at McClone Insurance Group, or sometimes at noon, she heads over to Anytime Fitness three blocks away to go through her routine. ‘I alternate between a treadmill and the weight machines,’ said Van Gorp, vice president of employee benefits at McClone Insurance Group. Now, thanks to a growing network initiated by McClone, First National Bank-Fox Valley and Hoffman LLC in collaboration with ThedaCare wellness vendor Ingenuity First, the program has grown to embrace more than 30 firms. Van Gorp said by sharing the cost and wellness coaches, successful but smaller Fox Cities businesses are able to take advantage of large group wellness product offerings and discounts the firms couldn't get on their own. The McClone Wellness Group evolved in the past 19 months going from three firms to more than 30 attending a quarterly luncheon to familiarize them with cost saving wellness programs previously available only to larger companies. Key parts of the program include health risk assessments, on-site health coaching, biometric screenings, weight-loss challenges, smoking cessation and mental health awareness plus health club discounts. One of the newer members is Pro Label, an Appleton flexographic label printer that employs about 70. Kim Ott, a finisher at the plant, said the affiliation grew out of an internal wellness committee. ‘We looked at it and said, 'We want our employees to be a lot healthier. We wanted to look at ways to cut back on health costs,' Ott said. The health risk assessments were an eye-opener.‘Our overall totals tell us we have a lot of stress in our building,’ she said. ‘We have a lot of extra weight in our building, which does not help the stress, which does not help anything else. We brought in one of their health coaches. I see where she's had a tremendous response for just beginning.’”


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