KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney was recognized this week as a state leader in workplace wellness.
Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services presented UNK with the Governor’s Wellness Award, which honors businesses and organizations that are dedicated to improving employee health and well-being.
“Regular exercise and healthy nutrition have benefits for both our physical and mental well-being. The companies honored today have done exemplary work to encourage their teammates to commit to a healthy lifestyle,” Ricketts said in a release announcing this year’s award recipients.
UNK, which was recognized Wednesday during a virtual ceremony, has received the Governor’s Wellness Award five times since its creation in 2008. Recipients are eligible to reapply every three years.
“It’s exciting to once again be recognized by the Governor’s Office for the work UNK is doing to support our employees’ health and wellness,” said Bryce Abbey, an associate professor of exercise science and director of the UNK Employee Health and Wellness Program. “This award reflects the university’s commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and assisting employees in making positive behavior changes.”
UNK received its award for demonstrating continued improvement in employee health behaviors.
According to Abbey, the university focuses its health and wellness programming on areas that meet the wants and needs of employees. Currently, this includes health screenings and weight-control and stress-reduction programs.
The Employee Health and Wellness Program also collaborates with the Physical Activity and Wellness Lab to provide adult fitness classes and nutrition demonstrations.
UNK offers an extensive benefits package, health care reimbursement accounts and the option to complete a health risk assessment to receive enhanced wellness and preventative services. Eligible employees also receive free professional counseling in areas such as stress reduction, work-life balance and personal wellness through the Employee Assistance Program.
Fourteen Nebraska businesses and organizations received the Governor’s Wellness Award this year.