Are you a small business owner with 1-15 employees? Is wellness important to you, but you don’t have the time, knowledge and/or resources to put towards it? RiseVT’s latest community initiative, the Small Business Umbrella group, may be just the solution for you. Franklin and Grand Isle counties are comprised of many small businesses, which value health and wellness, but don’t necessarily have the time or resources to build an employee wellness program. The Small Business Umbrella caters to businesses with less than 15 employees and supplies expertise to raise the health of our population.
So why join us?
- FREE health coaching and biometric screenings for you and your staff
- RiseVT organized health challenges
- Access to webinars on health related topics for you and your staff
- Participation in a Worksite Wellness Program for your staff, that is organized for you with your input
- The opportunity to become a RiseVT GOLD business
- GOLD businesses are publicized in our RiseVT blog, The Messenger and NMC’s Insights, which goes out to 36,000 residents quarterly. They also receive a $100 prize to raffle off to staff.
- Free lunch!
The Small Business Umbrella group will hold 4 meetings per year, 2 of which we ask that you attend. We will also be providing 4 webinars for you and your staff on wellness topics that we identify as a group.
Our last meeting was held on October 20th and had 4 businesses in attendance. We also had representatives from the VT Department of Health, Healthy Roots, the Tobacco Coalition and NMC’s smoking cessation program.
At our next meeting, Brian Clukey, our Health Coach, will be there to discuss Health Coaching and Biometric Screenings for our members.
Our next meeting will be January 19th at 11:30 at The State Building on Federal St. in the 1st floor conference room.
If you would like to join, please contact Jessica Frost at email@example.com for more information.
Peoples Trust was the first business that RiseVT worked with back when we launched, in June 2015. Just over one year later, and the company is still proactive in the wellness of its employees. Led by Stacy Cauller, the Human Resources Manager, they are always coming up with new ways to engage employees and are a shining example of what it means to promote wellness within the workplace and the greater community.
At the workplace, some of the benefits that they provide to employees are:
- Including healthy items at celebrations and luncheons
- Being a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer
- Offering stress management classes
- Offering a $75 re-imbursement for employees towards wellness gear or activities
- Providing space for exercise on site
- Organizing health challenges in the workplace – the most recent being “Reduce Your Assets”
- Offering flu immunization clinics for staff
- A tobacco free worksite
- Wellness activities are encouraged at staff meetings. Senior management can often be found stretching or standing during meetings. One branch manager initiated stretching breaks throughout the day at her branch.
In the community, you will always find People’s Trust staff volunteering at local events and lending time to such organizations as the Champlain Housing Trust, Habitat for Humanity, Martha’s Kitchen, Preservation Trust of Vermont, and Vermont Community Development Association.
This year, Peoples Trust will be collaborating more with NMC and RiseVT to offer biometric screenings for staff, as well as health coaching. Cauller shared that they are exploring other wellness opportunities for the coming year, such as on-site massages for employees and possible yoga.
RiseVT looks forward to supporting Peoples Trust as it continues to build wellness within the business and beyond the bank’s walls.
If you have been to a RiseVT Show Up event, you have seen Jeanne Royer. She came to the first Show Up event and has not missed one since. If you do not know who Jeanne is, just look for the 91 year old woman running, doing squats and push-ups! She is an inspiration to anyone who has attended one of our events and to many people in the community.
Jeanne says that her life of activity started at a young age. Her mother passed away when she was 2-1/2, so she had to keep up with her father and life on the farm. While she lived on the farm, she never shied away from milking the cows, mowing or working with the horses. When she got married, her husband was equally active. They built their first house together. In fact, her husband harvested trees from the forest, planed them and together they built the house at 20 Diamond Street in St. Albans.
When her kids were young, she volunteered as a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, serving as a den mother. She also maintained a large garden and spent time and working in it. She still volunteers regularly. You can find her at NMC twice a week helping patients check in. She says, “I’ve never had a dull moment. I’ve never been bored. I have always been very active, keeping busy doing all kinds of things.”
Carmen Riggs, Jeanne’s daughter who was visiting from Kentucky and attended the last Show Up event with her, believes that part of her mother’s health is because, “She never stops moving. I am convinced that when you stop moving, then you stop doing a lot of things. She even eats breakfast standing up!” She adds, “She’s an inspiration to me. I hope that I grow up to be like her when I am 91.”
Jeanne has always done physical work, but it is only in the past couple of years that Jeanne has started formal exercise classes. She credits RiseVT for introducing group exercise to her. Jeanne spends much of the winter in Florida where regularly takes exercise classes, including aerobics, Zumba and yoga. She is part of a program called Silver Sneakers, where seniors can receive FREE gym memberships through Medicare.
Several years ago, Jeanne did have to have a stent placed in her artery after going to a doctor because she was feeling a little less energetic than usual. However, her daughter mentioned it as an afterthought. It clearly did not slow her down, nor does she seem to focus on it as a problem. In fact, in all of my interactions with Jeanne, I only hear positive words and see her smiling.
Here are my take away tips to “Be Like Jeanne” and live a healthy, long life:
- Don’t sit. Once you start, you may stop doing other things that keep you active.
- Volunteer. Giving back is often linked to a positive outlook in life, which is linked to good health.
- Focus on the positive. It is somewhat of a stereotype that after a certain age, conversations focus on health problems. Don’t get caught up in it. What CAN you do? What are you capable of?
- Don’t shy away from physical work. If you want a house, build it. If you want a tomato, grow it. Ok, maybe we don’t have to be that extreme, but physical work is one of the best forms of exercise.
- Try new things! You are never too old to try something new.
On July 20th, RiseVT sponsored a Show Up in Taylor Park, led by the amazing Nina King! Nina led through a workout using a deck of playing cards. Each suit was a specific exercise, such as squats, push-up, triceps dip, etc. The number on the card was the amount of reps that we were to complete. It was a total body workout. She also threw in some bonus moves that involved running or jumping jacks, when you drew a specific card. It was a total body workout!
Everyone was able to work out at their pace. Nina’s energy and enthusiasm made the workout go quickly. She also gave modifications to make it easier or more difficult to whoever wanted to adapt the workout to their level.
Nina is a personal trainer and works out of the Train Station. Check out her Facebook page “Nina King Certified Personal Trainer”! She is a NASM certified personal trainer and I specializes in weight and strength training, but is also involved in running, hiking, yoga and boxing and has been experimenting with Crossfit. She is currently training for a Spartan Race!
She has also competed in 3 bodybuilding competitions, and is proud of taking 1st place in New York last fall! She considers herself an optimist and absolutely loves working with clients and sharing her passion about fitness!
If you are interested in trying out a Show Up event, come to Taylor Park on Wednesday morning at 6:00. The workouts and trainers vary from one week to the next, but it is always a positive atmosphere and a fun community event!
Franklin County Home Health Agency, Inc. is Gold Certified RiseVT business! They were one of the first businesses to reach out to RiseVT and set the goal of being a GOLD business within a year. So what has changed within the year?
- A worksite wellness committee was established made up of staff members from both the Enosburg and St. Albans locations. This committee worked to spearhead the changes that followed within FCHHA.
- They worked with their insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Accountable Blue program, to utilize the resources available to them.
- They are now a Tobacco Free business and have ordered signs from the Department of Health to display outside our building.
- They are a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer through the Department of Health.
- They conducted a Health Assessment of their employees to better identify appropriate wellness programming.
- They provide $100 Employee Wellness Benefit towards the purchase of personal wellness gear and activities.
- Staff educational opportunities are available, such as, planning advance directives, Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease awareness and empathic communication.
- They have an agreement with Duke’s and Collins-Perley Sports for employee discounts at the gyms.
- They have built a raised bed “salad garden” on site.
- They have replaced unhealthy food at meetings.
- They organized a one week health goal challenge to allow employees to focus on one aspect of their health that they would like to improve.
- They will be collaborating with Restorative Justice in the fall to conduct a conflict resolution workshop.
RiseVT helped them to make the necessary connections to make these changes. With their committee, they will be able to make these changes sustainable! Keep rising FCHHA!