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Positive Team Dynamics

By: Crystal Miller, Director of Fitness Center Services

What are the best characteristics of a good leader? In my opinion, it’s someone who can allow for the foundation of trust, respect and positive relationships.

Detoxing From Negativity


By Abby Jacobs, HealthSource Solutions intern

Detoxing doesn’t just have to be the kind where your goal is to lose so many in pounds in a certain amount of time.

When we think of the word detox, we usually think about a diet, but there are many other toxins to cut out. Detox from the negativity. These toxins may be people, things, thoughts, behaviors, etc. It can help move you forward towards that positive healthy lifestyle you need. For starters, think about the things in your life that can either help you or the things that can hurt you.

The Power of Positive Thinking

By Paige Holtan
Every once and a while we all have a day that seems down in the dumps, but how do we bounce back to feeling happy, productive, and successful?  This is where I truly believe in the power of positive thinking. There is one quote that has stuck with me over the years, “I am in charge of how I feel and today I choose happiness.” (Unknown) This one repeats in my mind throughout each day because although we may not be able to control the weather, our workload, or the traffic around us, we can always choose how we react to each situation.  Some of you may be more familiar with another common quote, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” (Dennis P. Kimbro)

5 Exciting Things About The 2014 Midwest Health Promotion Conference:

By Karin Junge, Director of Marketing

  1. More opportunities to network, including a facilitated networking session with leadership coach Paul Batz.
  2. Breakout sessions and keynote presentations that focus on both professional and personal growth.
  3. Lots of NEW exhibitors. Repeat conference goers will be excited to see that over half of our exhibitors are new this year!
  4. The post conference happy hour is back! Plan to stay for this additional networking opportunity. There will be light appetizers, a cash bar, and a grand prize drawing (must be present to win).
  5. ‘Choose your Charity’ returns again this year! We will be collecting cash donations at each table in the ballroom. Everyone who contributes will be put into a drawing. The winner of the drawing gets to choose a charity to receive the donations.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #MidwestHealth


Power in Planning

By Carolyn Peterson, Account Manager

There is power in planning. Most of us have felt the excitement and energy around a well-planned event, whether at work or at home. We almost can’t wait for it to happen, because we are ready! Wellness planning can have that same feel – it allows you to take a step back, connect with your wellness team and set goals that are important to your organization. Here are some guidelines to help you with planning your 2014 wellness program.

  1. Collect data from your health assessment, claims information and previous program evaluations. Use this information to see what is most important to improve employee wellness and to determine interests.
  2. Review past programs to determine what worked and what did not work with your employees.
  3. Meet with your leadership to determine what their goals are for the wellness program. Discuss the wellness programs in the workplace along with the company’s strategic goals.
  4. Set three to five health goals with metrics. This can include participation rates, health outcomes, satisfaction rates and/or self-efficacy goals.
  5. Put your plan to paper and create a calendar or list of upcoming employee wellness programs.

Consider a comprehensive approach to your plan that includes health awareness, behavior-change programs, risk or group specific approaches (such as tobacco cessation or training for a 5K) and environmental changes in your workplace. Don’t try to do too much, but work on having your staff wellness program become more visible in your organization on an ongoing basis.

Changing the World, One Intern at a Time

By: Katherine Cichowski, Intern

After eighteen years of continuous schooling, the prospects of working full time outside of academia can be equally exciting and daunting. As eager as I have been to enter the “real world” and apply the knowledge I have acquired, the thought of my work impacting more than my personal grade was rather frightening. Ready or not, it was time to begin the last piece of my Master of Public Health degree–an internship at HealthSource Solutions.

I have heard countless stories of classmates becoming glorified paper filers and copiers during their internships. Thus, it became a goal of mine to avoid this and find an organization that would give me an experience as true to what my career will be like as possible. To my luck I found HealthSource Solutions, which gave me an experience quite the opposite of a filer or copier. I never expected to have so many enriching opportunities! Throughout the past couple months, I have been able to join development and review teams, attend client meetings, and work at health screenings and fairs, along with many other valuable experiences. Never did I feel that my thoughts and work were less important than anyone else's. The trust I felt from everyone at HealthSource increased my desire to work harder and produce higher quality work, as well as crave the constructive criticism necessary to help me improve.

While the past several years of my life have revolved around learning theories of behavior change and about the social and environmental impacts on health, nothing can compare to the practical knowledge I have gained while interning for the past two months. Of course, classes, projects and studying are necessary, but the experience gained in the field has proved to be irreplaceable. These past few months would not have been as valuable without the encouragement and mentoring of everyone at HealthSource Solutions. Needless to say, thanks to everyone at HealthSource Solutions my fear of entering the workplace has subsided and the determination and enthusiasm to change the world has once again found a place in my heart.

Post-Conference Reflections

By: Emily Westlund, Program Coordinator

We just wrapped up another successful Midwest Worksite Health Promotion Conference, which was held on November 13 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. Our goal in hosting this conference is to bring other professionals together for a day of learning, sharing, networking and re-energizing. A common comment we hear from participants is, “We already know the dire situation of the health of Americans. What we want to know is, how do we change that?” Well, if it were as simple as handing you a list of 10 concrete things you can do to change employee behavior…we would already be doing it!  Unfortunately people are more complex than that. And each company has its own unique challenges to work around. Whether you’re a veteran of the industry, or new to the world of worksite wellness, you know that much of what we do is through trial and error. There is no fool-proof prescription that works for each company.

It is easy to get dragged down with depressing stats and figures about how obese we are getting, how many of us are smoking, and how few of us are regularly active. But then I remember all of the great success stories we’ve heard: how many people lost weight and kept it off because of a campaign their company ran, or how they quit smoking when their worksite went tobacco-free. And what we often don’t see is how those people in turn influence the people in their own lives with their transformation, inspiring them to make changes too. No matter how many programs we offer, it is ultimately up to each individual person to make the decision that their health is going to be a priority. And when they reach that point, they will engage in worksite wellness. We can’t make people change, but we can be there for them with education and support when they’re ready to do it themselves.

Midwest Worksite Health Promotion Conference Reaches Year 13!

By: Mary Kruse, President

Nine months of planning comes to fruition on Nov. 13, 2012. The Midwest Worksite Health Promotion conference is heading into its 13th year. It started in 1999 to replace the hole left when the Association for Worksite Health Promotion went defunct in 1996. Minnesota’s health promotion professionals wanted a venue close to home to gain and share new information and to network with colleagues.

Each year the conference has a new theme and is built around new trends, best practices, idea sharing and networking. This year’s conference theme, Balancing the Elements of Wellbeing, is designed around the five pillars of good health—career, social, financial, physical/mental and community. Each breakout session follows this theme and the presentations were chosen based on how they aligned with the pillars.

As a health promotion professional, it’s challenging to shift from the current paradigm which focuses on physical wellbeing, into a paradigm of career, financial and community wellbeing. We have implemented lifestyle and behavior change programs for years, but isn’t it HR’s job to deal with career? And benefits to deal with finances? As I look at these questions, I step back and realize you can’t expect a single parent with three kids who is barely making ends meet to succeed at a weight management program until they have more control in other areas within their life– they have way bigger concerns than their waist line. So, why aren’t we embracing the whole person with the same confidence and options that we have with physical activity, nutrition and stress management?

I find this new paradigm not about building from scratch, but rather doing what health promotion professionals do best: building partnerships and aligning and integrating services.

I am very excited about the opportunities this conference will present to our profession. I am confident that to build a culture of health, we need to step outside our physical paradigm and challenge ourselves to cast our nets wider and add new dimensions to our programming.

HealthSource Solutions Gets in Gear

HealthSource Solutions employees trained and ran as a corporate team in the Get in Gear race held on Saturday, April 28th.  Seven competed in the 5K race and four competed in the 10K!

Heart & Soul, the wellness committee at HealthSource Solutions, offered an eight-week training program leading up to the race for any employees who wanted to compete. Heart & Soul stands for Healthy Employees Actively Reaching-out Together, Supporting Outreach, Unity and Living well. Our wellness committee is committed to offering the same quality programming and culture of wellness to HealthSource employees that HealthSource Solutions does for the clients we consult and work with.

Congratulations to all the runners who participated. Although it was a cold and wet morning, it was a beautiful event with around 8,000 total runners competing. It’s not about which race you ran or what your time was. It’s about being healthy, working together and living well!