NU Foundation receives highest award for employee wellness programs

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About this photo: Jessica Sorensen (left), NU Foundation wellness program and human resources administrator, and Brian Hastings (right), NU Foundation president and CEO, attended the announcement of the Governor’s Wellness Award by Gov. Pete Ricketts (center left), and Dannette Smith (center right), CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, at the State Capitol.

The University of Nebraska Foundation has received the Governor’s Harvester Wellness Award in recognition its Health U employee wellness program. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced the award, the state’s highest recognition for workplace wellness programs, on Aug. 16, 2019.

“The award recognizes organizations that have made a great commitment to the people in their organization,” Ricketts said. “By meeting the standards for the award, the University of Nebraska Foundation has met the most rigorous requirements in worksite wellness and is among the elite companies in Nebraska and the United States.”

The foundation’s Healthy U program is nearly 10 years old, and 92% of foundation employees currently participate in it at some level. The program ties to one of the organization’s drivers: We balance a strong work ethic with a commitment to personal wellness.

“It is an honor for the University of Nebraska Foundation to receive the Governor’s Harvester Wellness Award,” said NU Foundation President and CEO Brian Hastings during the govenor’s news conference. “Our mission is to grow relationships and resources that enable the University of Nebraska to change lives and save lives. To accomplish this, we realize the health and well-being of our team is paramount.”

The NU Foundation’s Healthy U employee wellness program offers a wide range of services, information and health-related challenges year-round. A few examples include:

  • annual health accessments screenings;
  • onsite exercise classes;
  • lunchtime seminars by various health experts;
  • incentives for increasing personal activity levels;
  • challenges to encourage the making of healthier choices; and
  • many other opportunities and programs.

Receiving the governor’s wellness award is a testament to our staff, as they keep wellness a priority in their lives, said Jessica Sorensen, wellness program and human resources administrator.

“The investment our organization has made in its wellness program represents such a special benefit we offer to employees,” Sorensen said. “We know that making small, healthy changes in our daily lives can lead to big results, which is significant to us, as our employees are our most important asset.”

The NU Foundation is one of two organizations in the state to receive this award at the Harvester level, the state’s highest recognition level.

The other Nebraska organization to receive the award at this level is Lincoln Industries, a company owned and operated by Marc and Kathy LeBaron, NU Foundation trustees and University of Nebraska alumni.

The NU Foundation is invited to officially accept the award at a ceremony in York, Nebraska, on Oct. 16, 2019.

“Congratulations on making a difference in the lives of the people who work at the University of Nebraska Foundation,” Ricketts said. “Your efforts help Nebraskans ‘live the good life.’”

See the Office of the Governor’s news announcement.

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