The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that 10 Illinois organizations have qualified for the newly established “Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation.” They will be honored at the State Capitol on November 19, along with 32 other organizations that previously qualified for the recognition during 2014.
Sixty-eight organizations submitted applications for recognition during 2014. The rigorous evaluation process, conducted by U.I.C.’s Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, identified 42 employers qualified to receive an award. Twelve applicants received “gold” recognition, 14 qualified at “silver” and 16 at “bronze.” Qualifiers came from 16 different counties.
Rock Valley College was one of only three employers from Winnebago County to receive “gold” recognition.
The Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation is a three-year award and the designation requires satisfying criteria that are recognized best practices in creating a worksite culture of health. The criteria include:
- Actively promoting and supporting healthy nutrition at work.
- Providing and encouraging opportunities for physical activity at work.
- Developing a 12-month Health and Wellness Calendar and an ongoing communications plan to promote employee health and well-being throughout the year.
- Demonstrating a commitment to employee health and well-being by making it part of the organization’s mission statement, goals and operations.
- Developing lifestyle and disease management strategies and measuring their success annually.
The Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation was created as part of the statewide We Choose Health community transformation grant, which was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and overseen by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Its purpose was to make communities healthier and reduce chronic disease. Worksite Wellness was one of the strategies selected to achieve the goal in Illinois. The Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation was created to engage employers throughout the state in worksite wellness best practices.
Two evaluation periods are held each year, one during April and the other during October. To be considered for recognition, applications with supporting evidence are to be submitted prior to April 1 and October 1. At least one year of engagement in a worksite wellness program is required. To find out more, please contact: Michael White, Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 320-6308.