GREAT FALLS — The beginning of the year is a time when many people make changes, with many resolving to be healthier in the new year. Businesses, too, often look for ways to be healthier and that’s where the Cascade City-County Health Department’s Worksite Wellness Program comes in.
CCHD Health Promotion Specialist Penny Paul has been helping businesses and organizations achieve a healthier work environment for a decade.
"What we've seen over the years is that people become more physically active. A lot of times, people want more information on nutrition,” said Paul.
She follows the Wellness Council of America's seven step program, working with businesses and organizations for up to three years.
"Forming a wellness team, collecting that data - a small survey of what do your employees want. Wellness is what we do for people. It's all about the people and not what we think they need but what they want,” Paul explained.
Bill Salonen is the senior director of health and fitness for Special Olympics Montana, one of the organizations Paul is currently working with.
"It's been a great partnership. I just so appreciate the resources that I get from Penny,” Salonen said.
Those resources include information that gets sent to staff in a weekly e-mail.
"I send out a Wellness Wednesday e-mail each week that has recipes and exercises and information that promotes wellness,” said Salonen. "Health and fitness, overall wellness, is so important for the athletes that we serve so in turn I think it has to be important for us as a staff to be practicing what we're preaching."
"It's just more important to get people around each other more because it's been a stressful time for everybody and it's just more and more important that we have wellness,” said Paul.
Paul is looking for four new businesses or organizations to work with. Each worksite may receive up to three years of technical assistance and other evidence-based resources at no cost.
Applications will be accepted through January 14; you can apply online by clicking here, or by calling Paul at 406-454-5071.
If you’re unable to participate in the program, the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services also offers worksite wellness resources.