Worksite Wellness

Supporting Employee Health & Wellness

Since the Heart of New Ulm began, worksites throughout the New Ulm area have embraced the work of the project to help support employee health and wellness. Today, more than 40 of the area’s largest 100 employers have active wellness programming — an increase from only five in 2009. Employers have encouraged their employees to participate in health screenings, offered worksite wellness programs, created policies such as healthier vending options, established tobacco-free worksites, promoted community programs and more.

The Worksite Wellness Action Team (WWAT) plans, schedules and conducts quarterly networking and training sessions for New Ulm area worksite wellness leaders. It also plans and conducts other programs for worksites and the community such as community health challenges, the Poker Walk, scavenger hunts and the annual Holiday Trimmings program.

Firmenich Worksite Wellness Story

WWAT Priorities and Recent Accomplishments

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Workplace Wellness Trainings

Every year, the team hosts quarterly Worksite Wellness networking and training events. In 2023, the team hosted three quarterly worksite wellness networking and training events for 65 attendees:
January: Culturally responsive and responsible: Leading with Cultural Agility
April: Vision Health, Ergonomics and Promoting an Active Workday
October: Sustainable Self-care Habits for Daily Living: How to Alleviate Stress and Anxiety Through Nutrition, Movement and Grounding Rituals

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Resiliency Program for Local Worksites

Every year, the team works in partnership with the Brown County Mental Health and Wellness Action Team to offer the Embrace Wellness program (formerly called The People Project) to worksites to help employees build resiliency through fun, evidence-based mental well-being strategies that result in better connected, happier people.

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Poker Walk Events

The Poker Walk is offered every year in the spring in partnership with the Chamber and Ameriprise Financial to promote financial and physical wellness. Every Friday during the month of the Poker Walk, participants walk a designated one-mile route, which includes stops at five participating Chamber businesses. Participants stop at each business, pick up a playing card, assemble their poker hand, and drop off their poker hand each week for a chance to win gift cards. In 2023, the walk had 30 participating businesses that attracted approximately 150 walkers throughout the five-week event.

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Holiday Trimmings Program

The Holiday Trimmings Program is offered every year to help people improve their well-being during the busy holiday season.

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Community Scavenger Hunts to Promote Walking and Bicycling

Since 2019, the team has offered community scavenger hunts for people to walk or bike around town and learn more about the community; offered in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye and Springfield in 2021.

Nursing Mother's Room

Success Story: MRCI Nursing Room

MRCI - New Ulm created a private space for employees who are breastfeeding mothers to express milk. The room is also available to all employees as a quiet space they can use during their personal breaks throughout the day.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, more than 80% of new mothers in the United States begin breastfeeding, and 6 in every 10 new mothers are in the workforce.

“It is our goal at MRCI to reduce barriers to breastfeeding for nursing mothers returning to work,” stated Melissa Hudson, New Ulm Branch Manager. “The created space is private, safe, clean and in close proximity to a sink for washing hands and cleaning breast pump parts.”

Worksite Wellness E-Newsletters

For additional ways on how your worksite can get involved in supporting wellness, visit our Get Involved page.

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