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KC Chamber Honors Healthy KC Champions



This year, 212 companies were certified as healthy workplaces. Companies applied to be recognized by the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce as a part of their Healthy KC initiative. Healthy KC aims to make Kansas City a healthy place to live, work, and play. By recognizing companies that prioritize the health and wellbeing of their employees, the Chamber hopes to influence the community at large to take ownership of the collective health of Kansas City.
 
To help care for their employees and to help save on exponentially-increasing insurance costs, local companies are investing in the wellness of their companies on a personal level. It’s no secret that people want to work for companies that care for them, and these companies listed are making great strides in supporting employees in Healthy KC’s recognized Five Pillars of Health: Nutrition, Physical Activity, Tobacco Cessation, Work/Life Integration, and Design/Built Environment.
 
Three years ago, the KC Chamber introduced the “Healthy KC Workplace Wellness Certification Program,” which serves to recognize KC-based companies on their efforts of prioritizing the Five Pillars of Health. Companies became certified by completing an online survey that asks several questions pertaining to the five aforementioned areas of health. Certification levels vary, from Platinum (highest) to Honorable Mention (lowest). Some examples of the survey questions:
  • We offer healthy food and beverage options for company meetings
  • We offer/promote walking programs, including walking/standing meetings
  • We offer tobacco cessation programs for employees
  • We have policies supporting flexible work hours and schedules
  • We provide a dedicated onsite space at the workplace for reading, resting, etc.
A comprehensive list of certified companies is available here. Several organizations were recognized for their innovation and thoughtful applications:
 
Nutrition - Sunlighten (Contact: Alicia Botyrius - (913) 890-2821)
Sunlighten offers an onsite chef that prepares cold-pressed juices for both employees and the public. There are six options for juices, with benefits ranging from helping with inflammation, protein intake, hydration, and restoring pH balance.
 
Stock Ownership Program - McCownGordon Construction (Contact: Brandi Riggs - (816) 423-2330)
McCownGordon is 100% employee owned! They embraced a participatory management style with a commitment to listening to each associate and valuing their thoughts and ideas. McCownGordon believes this is the best direction for success and builds the strongest teams. McCownGordon’s initiatives help employees gain ownership of the company for which they work. By doing so, employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and their overall financial health.
 
Nudge Wellness Programs - TVH Parts (Contact: Lucy DelSarto - (913) 829-1000)
TVH’s Nudge Program empowers their employees to take an active role in their wellness. From the monthly guest speakers, wellness activities and challenges, on-site fitness facility and classes to the volunteer days and on-site garden there is something to appeal to every employee. Employees take home what they've experienced and learned thus transforming lives beyond the workplace.
 
Tobacco Cessation - City of Shawnee (Contact: Pascale Bullard - (913) 742-6245)
The supportive and robust Tobacco Cessation wellbeing initiative is provided in part by Saint Luke’s LIFEWISE™ EAP. They provide an onsite tobacco cessation training workshop followed up with individual and group coaching designed to increase success through a deeper understanding of behavioral change, appreciation of the impact of nicotine as a drug and leveraging of traditional and non-traditional tobacco cessation resources. By partnering with their EAP, they are able to utilize experts in the field to provide resources that benefit our staff.
 
Holding Space for Peace -  Redemption Plus (Contact: Julie Annett - (913) 563-4321) 
Hundreds of studies suggest that meditation doesn’t just decrease stress levels but that it also has tangible health benefits such as improved immunity, lower inflammation and decreased pain. Additionally, brain-imaging studies show that meditation sharpens attention and memory. Perhaps most importantly, it has been linked to increased happiness and greater compassion. For all these reasons, Redemption Plus provides a space each day at 3:00 pm for meditation or quiet time. It is led by our Wellness Crusader, an experienced gratitude coach.