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KC Chamber Awards Healthy KC Companies



For hundreds of companies in the KC area, helping their employees become healthier is a priority. Not only is it the right thing to do, but a healthy workforce also increases productivity and helps hold the line on ever-increasing health insurance costs.
 
That’s why the KC Chamber launched its “Healthy KC Workplace Wellness Certification Program” three years ago. Companies are certified as healthy workplaces based on their answers to a survey covering the five “pillars of health,” which include nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation, work-life integration, and the design & built environment. Here’s a sample of the yes or no survey questions:
  • We clearly distinguish healthy food options in vending machines…
  • We offer discounts/subsidies for gym memberships…
  • As an organization, we integrate and support tobacco-free habits in our company…
  • Our employees are prohibited from using tobacco products inside our workplace.
  • We have policies supporting flexible work hours and schedules.
The questionnaire was developed by the Chamber’s Workplace Wellness Committee, part of the Chamber’s Healthy KC initiative. It’s online now at https://survey.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0k4cyYl6Uhdksh7

Just going through the questionnaire can be helpful for companies interested in incorporating healthy practices in their own workplaces.

Last year, 234 companies were certified as healthy workplaces. Certification levels vary, from the very best (Platinum) to Honorable Mention. Five organizations were singled out for their outstanding efforts:

Nutrition – The Fort Osage School District (Contact: Shanna Stewart – (913) 221-6256)
Fort Osage’s wellness program is specifically focused on keeping their employees well, so they can give their best to their students. They have a registered dietician on staff, hold “Wellness Wednesdays, offer grocery store tours, cooking classes, and on-site nutrition classes.
 
Physical Activity – Pro Athlete  (Contact: Chris Hawkins – (816) 392-3385)
This ecommerce company has 100 percent employee participation in their wellness program. Pro Athlete provides employees 40 minutes each day to work out on the clock, and they make sure to always have something scheduled each day for all levels of health/fitness. (And their workout facilities are fabulous, including a lap pool, weight room, basketball court, and access to a personal trainer.)

Tobacco Cessation – TVH Parts  (Contact: Lucy Delsarto, (913) 829-1000)
TVH offers a variety of classes that help support and inform employees on how to quit tobacco. They also offer an on-site clinic that offers quit smoking assisted programs and prescription reimbursement for hypnotist or acupuncturist services for smoking cessation, and a full time on-site Health & Wellness Coach to provide support and resources.
 
Work/Life integration – Global Prairie  (Contact: Amie Hankel, (816) 664-9665)
All full-time Global Prairie team members receive 117 hours per year for philanthropic work and a minimum of three company-wide Giving Days per year. Their medical/dental/vision insurance benefits are top-tier, and include funds for infertility treatment and adoption assistance, with 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all new parents. Each Global Prairie office is equipped with a fully functional nursery for infants up to five months. In addition, the marketing firm provides employees with $500 in annual wellness reimbursements, a Fitbit, and unlimited paid time off to use for vacations, personal or family reasons, children’s school activities, illness, bereavement, or personal activities.
 
Design/Build - Burns & McDonnell  (Contact: Chelsea Wilson, (816) 447-9957)
Burns & McDonnell south Kansas City world headquarters includes three buildings on 37 acres at 9450 Ward Parkway. The offerings to their employees include a large fitness center, on-site childcare (with a focus on STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math), and a health center staffed with nurse practitioners. The design includes large windows allowing plenty of natural light, and adjustable desks enabling employees to either sit or stand. They also have a full-service pharmacy on-site.