Northwestern Counseling and Support Services recently received recognition as a Gold RiseVT business. They have an active Wellness Committee that meets monthly to work on their vision of, “Creating a Healthier Workforce, One Employee at a Time”. They have been working with their insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, to tap into their wellness benefits through the “Accountable Blue” program. This has enabled NCSS to build upon their already robust wellness program.

Here are just some of their accomplishments within the past year:

  • NCSS is a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer
    • They have coordinated a site visit from the Lactation Consultant at the Vermont Department of Health to see how they can better support breastfeeding women.
  • Free snowshoes for staff to use
  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Immunization clinics
  • Staff are encouraged to use breaks for physical activity.
  • Free on-site fitness classes/activities for staff: Zumba, floor hockey and beginners Bootcamp
  • Move More Minutes Challenge
    • This led to the creation of 9 staff testimonials, which will be rotated and displayed in the workplace.
  • Fresh Fruit Friday – they held one in September and may make it a quarterly event
  • They worked with Vitality Vending  to include more local, fresh and healthy choices in their vending machines.
  • They created a stretching poster, using the IT staff to demonstrate the exercises, and encourage stretch breaks in the workplace.
  • RiseVT’s Health Coach will offer a Lunch and Learn on how to use RiseVT supplied exercise bands.

There are two factors which have really allowed NCSS’s program to blossom. This first is a dedicated committee. By having a committee that meets regularly, a business can insure that their programming will continue to move forward and new ideas can be explored.  NCSS’s committee is full of employees who are excited about wellness and are happy to contribute their ideas. The second important factor is that their decisions are based upon survey data. Earlier in the year, the entire staff completed a Health Assessment to evaluate the overall health of the population. They also completed an Interest Survey to see what staff wanted to focus on and what sort of activities they would take part in. This data allowed the committee to focus their efforts in areas that were not only needed to improve the staff’s health, but also delivered in a way that would ensure participation.

Congratulations to NCSS! We cannot wait to see what you bring in the New Year!