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Workshop aims to persuade companies to add wellness programs

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, at 9:53 a.m.

The Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care’s WorkWell KS project will host a free two-day workshop for Wichita employers from 1 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 22 at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, 350 W. Douglas.

The goal is to promote and develop worksite wellness policies, said Aubrey Wiechman, WorkWell KS coordinator.

“It’s really about engaging business leaders in a conversation about health and its impact in their own organizations and the community at large,” she said.

“It’s typically something that’s a little fluffy, but our side is to focus on developing business strategy for health because health of employees can cost employers a lot of money, and not just through insurance costs,” Wiechman said.

For example, employee absenteeism can cause employers to have less productivity. Wiechman said the coalition also focuses on developing food policies regarding what types of food the company will provide at meetings or in break rooms, and it also addresses physical activity during the day, particularly for office workers.

Thee goal is to create culture change, not just a one-day wellness event, Wiechman said.

The project was initiated with a $700,000 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation. Now, it will continue until at least the end of 2014 with an extension from the foundation and a recent additional grant of more than $187,000 from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The goal of the project is to help at least 210 employers across the state develop wellness policies, Wiechman said.

To register for the workshop, contact Wiechman at 316-268-1126 or aubrey@wbchc.com.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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