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NEWS Improving and Protecting the Health, Well-Being
and Self-Reliance of All Montanans.

May 12, 2014


Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391

Worksite wellness awards to be presented May 13 in Helena

Event honors businesses, schools, local governments and those in health care who have implemented worksite wellness programs

The Department of Public Health and Human Services will honor representatives from Montana businesses, schools, county and city governments and those in health care Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at noon for their efforts to implement worksite wellness programs.  

First Lady Lisa Bullock will present the awards at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel in Helena. The event is part of the Worksite Health Promotion Conference, which is being sponsored by the Montana Association of Health Care Purchasers.

The conference will award 24 Montana employers who have put in place worksite health promotion programs that have made a positive impact on their employees’ health. 

The First Lady said worksite wellness programs help guide employees into making healthier choices. “Poor food choices and lack of physical activity during the workday are key factors that impact employee health and productivity,” she said. “This is important because Montanans spend most of their waking hours at work. Making the healthy choice the easy choice helps address this issue.”

According to Linda Krantz of the DPHHS Coordinated Chronic Disease Program, there are eight Montana employers receiving a Gold award, which is the highest award a worksite can achieve. “The Gold award recipients have a comprehensive, effective worksite health promotion program in place and are seeing a return on their investment,” Krantz said.

One of the Gold award winners is Northwestern Energy. “We are honored to have our wellness program recognized for excellence in worksite wellness,” said Kendall Kliewer, Vice President and Controller, NorthWestern Energy. “We are even more excited that a majority of our employees and their spouses proactively participate in the program and strive for a healthier lifestyle. We have great employee wellness champions who take the lead in sustaining and improving our culture of health and safety at NorthWestern.”

There will be 10 total Silver awards presented, and six Bronze awards.

Practicing what they preach, wellness is a part of the culture at Bronze-level recipient, RiverStone Health, Yellowstone County’s public health agency. “Our organizational policies encourage wellness because we believe healthy employees are happy employees,” said John Felton, President and CEO of RiverStone Health. “By incorporating healthy meeting guidelines, encouraging participation in community wellness activities and the design of bright, welcoming stairways that encourage using the stairs instead of riding the elevator, every day we commit to enhancing our employees lives.” 

The following is the entire list of 2014 Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion winners. Gold, Silver and Bronze are the three distinct worksite wellness models and are based on 9 quality standards that provide a framework and standard of excellence.

Gold Award Winners. (Gold represents a population health and productivity management approach, currently the highest industry standard.)

  • Bozeman Schools
  • Employee Benefit Management Services
  • Joint Powers Trust
  • Laurel Public Schools
  • NorthWestern Energy
  • PayneWest Insurance
  • State Bankers Association Group Benefits Trust
  • Yellowstone Surgery Center

Silver Winners. (Silver represents those wanting to focus more on skill-building and targeting certain risky behaviors.)

  • Benefis Health System
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Montana
  • Cascade County Employee Wellness Program
  • City of Missoula
  • Community Medical Center
  • First Montana Bank
  • Glacier Bancorp, Inc.
  • Junkermier, Clark, Campanella, Stevens P.C.
  • Missoula County
  • Sanderson Stewart

Bronze Winners (Bronze represents organizations wanting to enhance humanitarian or quality of work-life efforts.)

  • A Plus Health Care
  • Computers Unlimited
  • HJK, Inc., Aleph, P.C., Jennings Management, Inc.
  • Moody’s Market, Inc.
  • RiverStone Health
  • Sanders County

The Jill Young Award in Recognition of Outstanding Wellness Performance will also be presented in honor of the late Jeanne Cannon. Jeanne was a long time Montana Worksite Health Promotion member and DPHHS employee who tragically passed away earlier this year after a short battle with cancer. “She was admired and respected by the coalition for her contribution and expertise in worksite wellness promotion,” Krantz said. “Jeanne was a joy to work with, always professional and considerate of others.”

The conference will also feature Thomas Parry of Integrated Benefits Institute and Scott Foster of Wellco. Both speakers will be addressing conference attendees about how to build the business case for and culture of health.

There will be other local experts speaking about unlocking the potential of individuals, delivering wellness, and Affordable Care Act updates.

The award information is available online at

A complete conference agenda is available at  http://montanaworksitewellness.org/excellenceawards.shtml
Page last updated 05/12/2014