By Danielle Alley, Social Media and Public Information Coordinator
Now that we are on our way into 2022, we have the opportunity for a fresh start. For some of us that might mean a new exercise routine or nutrition plan. For others, a fresh start means reducing stress and getting better sleep at night. Whether your fresh start is simple or complex, embrace new beginnings and your health with BWC’s Better You, Better Ohio! program.
Better You, Better Ohio! is a free health and wellness program for employees working for small businesses (250 people or less) in high-risk industries* and employers who take part in BWC’s Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program. Employers have the benefit of a paperless program designed to help manage and reduce workers’ compensation and health care costs. We know that a healthy and well Ohio workforce is a strong Ohio workforce. We want to support you, by helping employees:
- Prevent injuries at work
- Reduce risks of illness
- Improve recovery time after injuries or illnesses
Still not convinced Better You, Better Ohio! is for you? We sat down with Program Manager Ana’ Bell to find out more.
Q. What is the most common question you receive about the Better You, Better Ohio! program?
A. How much does it cost – I tend to get this question often from employers and employees. Each time, it feels great to share that the program is free. Free for employers and free for employees. We know that our small employers may not always have the resources for a robust health and wellness program at their work site. By offering Better You, Better Ohio! for free, it means we can support the health of the Ohio workforce and cut out some of the challenges small employers may face when working towards a healthier work environment.
Q. Does this program really help the Ohio workforce live healthier lives?
A. Yes! One of my favorite stories that comes to mind is about a free biometric screening that took place at Kennedy Manufacturing. This employer was hosting an onsite biometric screening when the health screeners informed three employees that their blood pressure was dangerously high. The employees were able to see a doctor right away and the doctor shared with them that had they waited, it could have been a serious medical emergency. The biometric screening that day may have saved all three employees’ lives.
Q. That sounds amazing. Are there other positive stories?
A. Of course. We had a participant in her late 40’s who joined Better You, Better Ohio! after learning about the program at a safety seminar. She was motivated by the $75 incentive, but also wanted to improve her health when she learned that her blood pressure and cholesterol were too high. She started working with the health coaches on healthy eating and was able to lose 35 pounds and keep the weight off for over a year. That’s just one of many great success stories we have, and people can read more stories on this flyer.
Q. As Program Manager, what do you like most about your role and Better You, Better Ohio!?
A. Good question. In this role, I truly appreciate having the opportunity to work with employees and employers from a wide variety of backgrounds and industries. It keeps me on my toes and allows me to be creative in working with groups, who at times, are traditionally left out of workplace wellness efforts. I am also proud that Better You, Better Ohio! is unique in that this program is really centered around our diverse groups of employees, employers, and injured workers. We don’t just stop at biometric screenings – we work hard to provide resources that help our workforce improve their health and maintain it.
Q. That’s great. Is there anything else you would like to share?
A. Yes. For our employees and employers who are not eligible to participate but would still like health and wellness resources, or for additional questions about the program, please contact us at BWCBetterYouBetterOhio@bwc.state.oh.us. We’re happy to help!
Those who take part in Better You, Better Ohio! have access to biometric screenings, a nurse health line, monthly newsletters, health coaching, and more. The benefits do not stop there. Participants can also earn $75 or more in incentives for completing health and wellness activities.
Getting started is easy and there are many resources available for eligible employers, such as the Wellness Champion Guide and the Better You, Better Ohio! Information Packet. Contact us via email at BWCBetterYouBetterOhio@bwc.state.oh.us to learn more today.
*High-risk industries include agriculture, automotive repair and service, construction, firefighters, health care, industry, manufacturing, police and public safety, public employers, restaurant and food service, transportation and trucking, trash collection, warehousing, and wholesale and retail.