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Area businesses recognized for healthy worksites

Published: Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – The state Department of Public Health announced that Serenity Hospice & Home in Oregon (Silver) and Dennis Electric Inc. of Tampico (Bronze) are two of 32 organizations from across the state to be recognized for outstanding worksite health promotion efforts. They will receive the newly-established Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation.

The Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation was created as part of the statewide We Choose Health Community Transformation Grant, which is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and overseen by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Its purpose is to make communities healthier and reduce chronic disease.

Worksite Wellness is one of the strategies selected to achieve the goal in Illinois.

The designation was created to engage employers throughout the state in worksite wellness best practices.

Sponsors of the designation include the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, which also provides evaluation and research assistance.

The designation is a 3-year award that includes three levels of recognition: Gold, silver and bronze.

It requires satisfying criteria that are recognized best practices in creating a worksite culture of health. The criteria includes:

■ Actively promote and support healthy nutrition at work.

■ Provide and encourage opportunities for physical activity at work.

■ Develop a 12-month health and wellness calendar and an ongoing communications plan to promote employee health and well-being throughout the year.

■ Demonstrate a commitment to employee health and well-being by making it part of the organization’s mission statement, goals, and operations.

■ Develop lifestyle and disease management strategies, and measuring their success annually.  

Evaluation periods are in April and October. To be considered for recognition, applications, with supporting evidence, are to be submitted between April 1 and Oct. 1.

At least 1 year of engagement in a worksite wellness program is required.

Go to wechoose health365.com for more information.

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