Lee County businesses honored at 2015 Horizon Council Healthy Business Awards

In recognition of their outstanding commitment to employee wellness, three local businesses received the 2015 Horizon Council Healthy Business Awards on Aug. 26 at the Lee County Workplace Wellness Summit.

Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands was honored with the Small Business Award for the company’s long-term, comprehensive commitment to workplace wellness. The company has provided a variety of activities and initiatives for its employees since 2007 through its “A Better Way to Wellness Program” that provides monetary incentives and reimbursements for its employees to encourage healthy lifestyles. The wellness program offers health assessments for employees as well as opportunities to participate in fitness challenges and competitions. The company contributes a yearly budget of approximately $20,000 to fund activities and incentives for its wellness program. Throughout the years, Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands has seen a significant positive impact on the workplace environment and its employees through the implementation of this program. Currently 40 employees are participating in the program, for a 95 percent involvement rate.

The Mid-sized BusinessAward was granted to the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers. The organization formed its Working on Wellness (WOW) employee wellness program in 2013 to provide a workplace environment that supports anyone’s desire to make healthy lifestyle choices. In order to do this, the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers has provided employees with a variety of offsite fitness options, including boot camps, outdoor fitness groups and gym memberships. The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers also offers monthly “Lunch & Learns” discussions and hasa state-of-the-art gym onsite for employees to use before and after work hours. The organization also has designed a year-long Annual Fitness Challenge that operates on a point-based system and provides a variety of rewards and incentives to encourage employee participation. The organization dedicates $20,000 each year to fund activities and incentives. Since its creation two years ago, the WOW program has attained more than 60 percent employee participation and has resulted in a variety of benefits for employees, including a healthier working environment, improved employee moraleand more active employees.

The Large BusinessAward was given to Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC). The not-for-profit company has a total of 241 employees participating in the wellness program, which was formed in 2008 and became one of the organization’s corporate objectives in 2012. LCEC’s program provides a wide variety of resources, activities and opportunities for its employees to inspire healthy habits. LCEC offers an onsite fitness center for employees and their dependents age 14 and above and also provides partial reimbursement for fitness facility fees and entry fees for running events, races and marathons. LCEC also offers subsidized onsite personal training, nutrition counseling, and fitness classes; an annual wellness fair; onsite clinic; health portal; onsite organic gardens and fruit trees; fitness challenges and competitions; wellness lunch and learn sessions; and a variety of incentives for employees. LCEC dedicates $295,700 annually to fund reimbursements and incentives, the wellness center and annual health exams.

Hosted in partnership with the Horizon Foundation, the Chamber of Southwest Florida, SHRM of SWFL and Healthy Lee, the Workplace Wellness Summit featured presentations from Dr. Marc Braman MD, MPH, founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and owner of Northwest Lifestyle Medicine, Inc. and Mike Smith, chief information officer for Lee Memorial Health System and member of Health Information Systems Executive Association. A panel discussion was also held by medical carriers, highlighting wellness programs and incentives.

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