While the Get Fit Challenge is geared toward individual success and teammate accountability, several local businesses are doing their part to help keep employees healthy.

Bothwell Regional Health Center

According to Lisa Irwin, director of Human Resources, Bothwell offers two wellness programs for employees: Weight Watchers and Bothwell Rocks.

“We want to have happy, healthy employees, and it’s important they focus on their own health,” she said. “We want to be a leader in health in the community and taking care of our employees is a good first step on that.”

Employees can enroll in Weight Watchers at no cost and their spouses can enroll for half-price. Participants are reimbursed at the end of each session and are only allowed to miss two weekly visits to get the full refund.

“Employees have had great success with Weight Watchers. It’s great to see how people feel better, and they advocate on their own for the program,” Irwin said. “Also the cafeteria has started offering meals that fall into the Weight Watchers category, listing the calories and nutrients to help folks with that process.”

According to information provided by Irwin, employees have lost more than 8,300 pounds since Bothwell began offering the program four years ago. A total of 682 people have participated, which includes employees who have enrolled more than once.

Bothwell Rocks offers employees who receive health insurance through the hospital the chance to get a reduced premium each pay period if they complete certain wellness tasks. 

“When they go to the doctor, there’s a form the doctor fills out that they were seen for their yearly visit with bloodwork,” Irwin said. “On the fitness form, they have to list two things they’re doing to improve.”

State Fair Community College

Executive Director of Human Resources Rachel Dawson said SFCC is in the process of creating its own wellness program for employees but in the meantime, the college is educating employees about existing offerings.

As the college adds to its wellness offerings, it decided to help employees participate in the Get Fit Challenge. As a sponsor, SFCC paid for up to 50 employee teams to join the program. Dawson said she thought they might get 20 to sign up, but she was “blown away” when almost 40 teams were representing SFCC.

Dawson said there have been additional internal competitions associated with Get Fit, along with plenty of trash talk and support.

“We had a meeting with a chocolate cake left over and I hand delivered it to the marketing department,” Dawson said. “We’ve been teasing each other but supporting each other. It’s the internal competition but also the accountability. I’ve enjoyed seeing my employees interact and give each other a hard time yet be supportive as well.”

Dawson is also utilizing a program through the college’s insurance provider, UnitedHealthcare. It offers Rally, a wellness program that allows employees to earn credits by working out that go toward earning gift cards. There is also a free 16-week weight loss program that sends employees a free kit including a weight scale, food scale, tape measure, and a resistance band with the requirement of attending a 30-minute session each week. A United representative even gave a presentation during Tuesday’s professional development sessions.

SFCC’s nursing program is also hosting its annual free public health fair from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday in the Yeater Center lobby 

“We’ve been using these opportunities to share with our employees what we already have going that doesn’t cost them anything,” Dawson said.

Employees are also getting creative when it comes to fitness at work. Dawson said she recently hosted a staff meeting on the walking track in the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center. 

“We knocked out four miles in an hour and we’re just talking about work,” she said. “We try to be flexible in all things on our campus, as long as it’s working within our policies and getting work done, so why can’t we incorporate that more? It’s been fun, a lot of times in an office we get interrupted, now we’re able to still talk about things we need to talk about and walk while we’re doing it.”

Dawson said SFCC is learning as it goes, such as finding out how to add the on-campus fitness center as a recognized center for the Rally program.

“We want to continue adding to this, this is the very beginning,” she said. “I hope to see it become more robust in the next year or two. This is a good start and I loved seeing how many employees wanted to be involved.”


Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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