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The Resource Center’s award-winning employee wellness program has again gained national recognition.
For the third straight year, The Resource Center was named one of the “Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America.” TRC was honored at the Healthiest 100 awards ceremony, held during the 2018 Fitbit Captivate conference in Chicago in September. The Resource Center was ranked 45th and was the only business in New York State to be represented on this year’s list. The competition’s organizers said a record number of businesses had applied for Healthiest Employers recognition this year.
The Resource Center was eligible to participate in the nationwide competition by virtue of being named one of the healthiest employers in Western New York for 2018. It marked the third straight year TRC was chosen as the healthiest employer in its division; divisions were determined by number of full-time employees, and TRC finished first among Western New York businesses having more than 750 employees.
The key to TRC’s success as one of the nation’s healthiest workplaces is its STARS employee wellness program. Implemented several years ago, STARS assesses each person along five key life dimensions: basic needs, physical health, mental wellness, family/social relationships, and employment issues.
STARS participants enjoy the opportunity to meet with a certified health coach to develop and monitor a personalized wellness plan; discounts on their health care costs and wellness activities; and the ability to earn incentive points that can be redeemed for prizes. Participation in the wellness program is voluntary. Many of the STARS activities, such as health coaching and the lunch-and-learn series, are open to all TRC employees, not just those who are enrolled in STARS.
Donna Trusso, the STARS Program Manager, and Health Coaches Heather Courtney and Jon DeSantis attended the Healthiest Employers awards ceremony. Having climbed from 77th place in 2016 to 19th last year, the STARS team was not sure what to expect this year. The Resource Center finished in the top 5 percent of all businesses applying for Healthiest 100 Employers designation, a result that makes the STARS team proud.
“We know we made many accomplishments in 2018, but there is much more work to be done,” Donna said.
Going forward, Donna said one way to improve TRC’s ranking is to get more employees involved in STARS. She said that at some of the other Healthiest 100 Employers, more than 90 percent of employees take part in the company’s wellness program. About 36 percent of eligible TRC employees participate in STARS.
“Improving our participation rates gives us something to shoot for,” Donna said. “There needs to be more participation.”
As for the Chicago conference overall, Heather said the team enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of the leaders in the nation’s employee wellness movement. Donna said the conference was more informational and educational than last year’s event.
“Another big focus that stood out to me is the holistic approach to wellness, not just looking at physical health,” said Donna, adding that this aligns perfectly with the STARS program’s philosophy of focusing on all aspects of a person’s wellness.
TRC officials were glad that The Resource Center again placed among the nation’s Healthiest 100 Employers and credited the work done by the STARS team.
“I am very proud of the team who supports our employees with all of our population health and wellness programs,” said Heather C. Brown, Assistant Executive Director for Program Operations. “They are dynamic, caring and always a lot of fun. They strive to develop their own tools in order to better support our workforce and have become certified in many areas and bring those skills each day.”