American Heart Association Awards BPU Health & Wellness Program With National Silver Recognition – Jamestown Post Journal

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Dec 25, 2021
The American Heart Association has awarded the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ Health and Wellness Program its Silver Recognition.
More than 450 organizations nationwide have been recognized this year by the American Heart Association, which advocates for health and well-being at work where many people spend most of their active time. According to the Center for Disease Control, healthy employees are more productive, use less sick time and are less likely to quit their jobs.
The organizations that completed the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index in 2021, were evaluated and judged through this free, evidence-informed, web-based scorecard. Recognition designations are determined by the degree to which organizations adhere to science-based best practices for programs and policies that promote well-being, including encouraging physical activity and healthy eating choices, awarding and distinguishing healthy behaviors and fostering social support for employees.
American Heart Association recognition comes in gold, silver and bronze levels and is based on scoring of the Index.
Of the organizations completing the assessment, forty-three percent earned gold, 31% attained silver and 19% reached bronze. This is the first year in which the BPU participated in the Index.
“Congratulations to each organzation for their commitment to employee health and well being,” said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association chief executive officer. “When we make a commitment to the mind, body and heart, rooted in science and health equity for all, we are better positioned to create healthy communities, especially during these constantly changing times.”
The BPU’s program includes such aspects as biometric screening, lunch and learns on various topics of health, wellness corners, flu clinics and recipe exchanges. Central to the program is the earning of “wellness points” awarded for preventative medical appointments, exercise, vaccinations and wellness challenge participation. In the past, employees organized activities such as Safety and Wellness Fairs, a hiking club, Weight Watcher classes and carotid artery screening.
Previously in 2021, the BPU program was named 44th out of 100 companies named to the 2021 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America sponsored by Springbuk. This competition also is based on a national, non-biased group of representatives from the academic, medical and wellness companies. The assessment is scored rubric style on a 1-100 scale. This is the third year this distinction was awarded to the BPU.
The utility’s program also was named first in its company size regionally through Business First’s Western New York Healthiest Employers contests in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The BPU’s program also was a runner-up in 2018.
The BPU Health and Wellness Program is developed annually by an employee team headed by Trenton Lutes. Additional members of the team include: Martha Abers, Tammy Anderson, Dan Currie, Jarrett Devereaux, Todd Hoaglund, Diondra Lopez-Chapman, Kirk McDowell, Cynthia McFadden, Gloria Miranda, James Paterniti, Jake Prince and Becky Robbins. Human Resources Director Ross Snyder is a resource to the team.
“The BPU has committed to improving the health and wellness of our workforce,” added Ross Snyder, BPU human resources director. “We are encouraged by the participation of our employees as they work to improve their lives through better health.”
BPU General Manager David L. Leathers expressed pride in the AHA award, in the employees who develop the health and wellness program and in the BPU employees, spouses and retirees who participate in the program’s activities.
“Our employees embrace the Health and Wellness Program activities,” Leathers said. “Their involvement has resulted in lower rates of illness and absenteeism. We value our employees and appreciate the extensive efforts put forth by members of our Health and Wellness Team.”
“We appreciate our leadership’s dedication to employee well-being through the approval of plans developed by our employee Health and Wellness Team,” noted Trent Lutes, team leader. “This commitment boosts the morale of our workforce whose participation is key to our overall success.”
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