Montana Worksite Health Promotion Coalition
In December 2003, Former Governor Martz signed the executive order to form the Governor’s Council on Worklife Wellness, acknowledging that a healthy workforce can have a positive impact on the state’s economy. Employee wellness programs have shown to be effective in reducing medical costs as well as increasing productivity and job performance. The Council was created in collaboration with the departments of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and Labor and Industry (DLI).
The Montana Governor’s Council on Worklife Wellness convened for the first time in January 2004 and continues to meet quarterly. In December of 2006, the Council was no longer under executive order from the Governor’s office and has since been renamed as the Montana Worksite Health Promotion Coalition.
Originally, the councils’ goal was to engage Montana employers in providing policies, benefits, environment conditions, and programs that support heart-healthy behaviors amount their employees. Today, our mission is to be “the resource for Montana employers regarding the art and science of health promotion and wellness at work.”
The Montana Worksite Health Promotion Coalition created the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards to recognize Montana employers who offer basic, medium or comprehensive worksite wellness programs. The awards were created in 2006 with an understanding of the current range of best practices and may be modified in the future to better reflect the evolution of the industry. In 2008, the mission and purpose of the awards were clarified and they were modified to improve some of the application requirements and processes. Also, a renewal application was developed for those wishing to reapply for the same award. The awards are not intended to represent any level of certification or the only way to deliver wellness programs at work.
The mission of the Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion Awards is to educate, encourage, recognize, and create a standard of excellence for worksite wellness programs in Montana.
Also in 2006, the first annual Montana Worksite (Wellness) Health Promotion Conference was held in Bozeman, Montana. Larry Chapman, a nationally recognized worksite wellness leader, was the key note and addressed Fundamentals of Worksite Wellness. In subsequent years, our conference has featured other nationally known worksite wellness leaders such as Dee Edington, David Hunnicutt and Wendy Lynch.
In November 2009, the montanaworksitewellness.org website was launched. This website is a dynamic project and is continually being developed to help Montana employers.