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Blue Zones-approved worksites share experiences with well-being efforts

Vicky O. Misa

Local Blue Zones Project-approved worksites gathered at the Shawnee Public Library this week to present an update on employee well-being efforts. They shared lessons learned, upcoming events and initiatives, and success stories as a result of their efforts to improve employee engagement, moral and overall well-being. Presenters included Andrea Beck, RD from SSM Health St. Anthony Shawnee Clinic; Amanda Brackeen and Kellie Clay from BancFirst; Keely Tollin, from Shawnee Public Schools; Leslie Cooper, from Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Cama Watts from Gordon Cooper Technology Center; and Tammy Wilburn, from Georg Fischer Central Plastics. The event was planned and hosted by the Blue Zones Project Committee — The Approval Moai — as an opportunity to share experiences and successes in hopes of continuing the momentum and inspiration currently moving worksites towards healthier practices. Miriam Bell, Blue Zones Project Pottawatomie County organizational lead, said the process of becoming a Blue Zones Project-approved worksite is a great way to build momentum and begin a shift in worksite well-being.

“Through this process, the worksites also learn that the work is never done and that they now have the exciting opportunity to expand employee well-being efforts in a way that is authentic and sustainable,” she said. “For long term success, it’s crucial that employee well-being efforts fit well into organization operations, and that it become a part of what they do each day without becoming an afterthought.”

She said many local worksites have proven through their continued efforts and successes that they are embracing that concept and are truly seeing that shift in mindset and culture.

While the idea- and inspiration-sharing presentations went on, attendees were offered plant-slant catering menu items available from local Blue Zones Project-approved restaurants and grocery stores, Paul’s Place Steakhouse, The Lunchbox, The Surf Bar, Homeland Grocery and FireLake Discount Foods.

“This was in an effort to showcase that there are several plant-slant catering options available to local sites wanting to provide a healthier option for employees for meetings and events,” Bell said.