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Nebraska Methodist College Receives Nebraska Governor’s Wellness Award – the Grower Award

Published: Sept. 21, 2022

On the floor of the Nebraska State Capitol Rotunda, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts recognized five Nebraska organizations with Governor’s Wellness Awards for their evidence-based worksite wellness programs.

Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) was the recipient of the Grower Award for its efforts in demonstrating significant improvement in employee health behaviors. Dr. Deb Carlson, president and CEO of Nebraska Methodist College, was present to accept the award on Monday, Sept. 19.

“Nebraska Methodist College has been active in workplace wellness for over 25 years,” Dr. Carlson said. “We were the first college in the country to get the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) platinum-level Well Workplace Award. To influence others’ well-being, we need to make sure that our faculty, staff and students are healthy.” 

NMC has based its wellness program on seven key dimensions: spiritual, physical, intellectual, social, emotional, environmental and occupational. Based off these key drivers, the college’s Thrive committee established three wellness goals and nine objectives for the NMC community for 2021-2022: 

  • Improve nutrition
  • Improve perceived stress and resiliency  
  • Improve physical fitness 

Among the tactics implemented to achieve these goals were providing more healthy food options for students; free nutritional programming; nutrition-based podcasts; fitness opportunities, including a new fitness and wellness area; free wellness/stress reducing apps; and access to mental health services. The initiatives were deemed a success as the college met eight of its nine objectives.

“We do a health risk assessment that ensures that employees know their health risks and then educate on how to mitigate those risks,” Dr. Carlson said. “Our Thrive wellness group focuses on the seven dimensions of health. These are threaded throughout our college.” 

Dr. Carlson acknowledged the work of the Thrive committee was one key element among a number of initiatives related to wellness at NMC, including committees, groups and departments that incorporate some of the seven dimensions of wellness into what they do. All of these efforts led to NMC’s selection for this year’s Grower Award.  

 “The Governor’s Wellness Award recognizes employers who have built a culture of wellness in their workplace,” Ricketts said. “I commend this year’s winners for investing in the physical and mental health of their teammates. An organization’s people are its greatest assets. It makes smart business sense for companies to encourage good nutrition and healthy lifestyles through workplace programs.” 

The Governor’s Wellness Award began in 2008, making this the 15th year it has recognized organizations that dedicate resources and time to wellness efforts in the workplace. Each applicant must provide information in the areas of leadership, data collection, intervention strategies, policy/environment support and evaluation of outcomes.