The University of Nebraska at Omaha's (UNO) commitment to workplace wellness was recently recognized among the best in the state by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.
On Friday, Aug. 16, Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Wellness Award. UNO was one of just 42 organizations and the only university in Nebraska to be recognized.
“The Governor’s Wellness Award recognizes businesses that have planted and nurtured a culture of wellness within their organizations,” Ricketts said. “I applaud these employers for implementing innovative and effective worksite wellness programs. Their efforts help grow a healthier population in Nebraska.”
UNO was formally recognized at the "Grower" level, which honors businesses and organizations demonstrating significant improvement in employee health behaviors. The award serves as a renewal of UNO's initial awarding of the Governor's Wellness Award in 2016.
Among the successes recognized were an overall increase in physical activity among employees and a decline in the risk for diabetes thanks to efforts like discounted memberships for UNO Campus Recreation, being a smoke-and-tobacco free campus and a focus on the eight dimensions of wellness across multiple campus events and initiatives.
“This recognition is a testament to the great collaborative efforts by the Wellness Center and Human Resources in our efforts to make UNO the healthiest campus in the country," said Joe Kaminski, director of Campus Recreation at UNO. "It is great to be counted among these other amazing wellness champions across Nebraska”
This marks the 12th year of the Nebraska Governor's office recognizing businesses that dedicate leadership, resources, and time to wellness efforts in the workplace. Including this year's recipients 466 total awards have been distributed across the state.
“Worksite wellness provides an opportunity for employees to invest in their own health and experience the benefits of living healthier lives. Embracing a healthy and active lifestyle can help reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke and certain types of cancer,” said Dannette R. Smith, CEO of DHHS.
In addition to the "Grower" recognition, two other levels exist: Sower and Harvester. The Sower level recognizes workplaces that have established quality wellness programs. The Harvester level recognizes workplaces businesses that are experiencing documented value and return on investment in their workplace wellness programs.
Two other University of Nebraska-affiliated organizations were recognized this year. Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Foundation received Sower and Harvester awards, respectively.
This year's awards will be presented at three different ceremonies across the state. UNO's award will be presented in Omaha on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.