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2011.04.21 > For Immediate Release
contact: Becky Bohan Brown - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2243 - email: rbrown@unomaha.edu
Ashley Bails - Campus Recreation
phone: 402.554.3917 - email: abails@unomaha.edu

UNO Takes Home the Gold Well Workplace Award

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has been designated a Gold Well Workplace by the Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELCOM), meaning it ranks among the healthiest places in the country to work.

"This is a great achievement for the University of Nebraska Omaha, its faculty, staff and students. I would like to thank Chancellor Christensen, Dean B.J. Reed, Vice Chancellor Bill Conley, Drs. Dan Blanke, David Corbin, Kris Berg, Lisa Scherer, as well as Mollie Anderson and Joe Kaminski for their leadership and vision in the area of wellness,” said Dave Daniels, assistant director of fitness/wellness and instructional programs at UNO.

To be recognized a Gold Well Workplace, an organization must develop comprehensive programs that produce results and are an integral part of the business. The seven key benchmarks of a successful wellness program are:

• Capturing CEO Support
• Creating Cohesive Team Wellness Teams
• Collecting Data to Drive Health Efforts
• Carefully Crafting an Operating Plan
• Choosing Appropriate Interventions
• Creating a Supportive Environment
• Carefully Evaluating Outcomes

“Also, a special thank you to the entire Mav-Rec Wellness Advisory Committee (past and present) for their tireless service in helping to creating a culture of wellness at UNO,” Daniels said. “In addition, I would be remiss if I did not thank three individuals who have worked on many programs, served on committees, and put information together for the Well Workplace Awards: Esther Scarpello, Marcia Adler, and my current Graduate Assistant, Angie Helseth.”

University representatives including Daniels and Chancellor John Christensen were on hand to receive the Gold award at the April 21 Well Workplace Awards Luncheon at the Qwest Center Omaha.

“I’m extremely proud of our campus and the effort that went into achieving this Gold status,” said Chancellor John Christensen. “I would like to give a special thanks to the members of the Mav-Rec Wellness Advisory Committee for their continued work to make UNO a healthier workplace.”

At the awards luncheon, besides UNO, 16 other businesses received the Well Workplace Award for demonstrating outstanding efforts in addressing employee health at the workplace. Companies were able to achieve a Well Workplace Award at five levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Small Business. This is UNO’s fourth Well Workplace Award but the first Gold designation.

“These companies are building wellness programs that are not only impacting the bottom line, but also the health and wellbeing of their employees,” said Howie Halperin, executive director of WELCOM. “There is nothing more important you can do for your organization as your business is only as good as your people. Wellness at the workplace began in Omaha 29 years ago and our member companies continue to raise the bar for the rest of the country.”

Criteria for being selected as a Well Workplace has been established by the Wellness Councils of America, which is comprised of four locally-affiliated councils across the country. Through 2010, more than 1,000 employers in the U.S., including 51 from the Omaha metro area, have been designated as Well Workplaces.

“Everyone at UNO helped us take home the Gold,” Daniels said. “Thanks to all the faculty, staff and students who have participated in the Mav-Rec Wellness program over the past 10 years!"

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu