Building an integrated wellness program

Employee feedback results in new tools, planned incentives

Be Colorado

When the University of Colorado Health and Welfare Trust (Trust) formed three years ago to help improve the way the university and its fellow Trust employers deliver health care to their employees, a fundamental concept of the Trust was building an integrated wellness program as part of our health plans.

Be Colorado launched in the fall of 2011 with health screenings, a health assessment and digital health coaching, and asked employees to start the Be Colorado Wellness Journey. This past fall we increased participation in the health screenings by nearly 50 percent, and feedback from employees thus far can be summed up as: great start, but we want more.

The Trust and its Be Colorado team hear you loudly and clearly, and we have new tools and programs we know will meet your needs and help you achieve your wellness goals. Last week, we relaunched the Be Colorado website – www.becolorado.org, and it is filled with content about nutrition and physical activity, and emotional, social, and financial wellness. It also offers an events calendar featuring wellness opportunities across all the campuses and all Trust employers.

We have lined up an impressive array of wellness experts from our university and the university hospital community to provide fresh content on a regular basis, and we have created a forum that enables you to reach out and find others with similar challenges and successes, to share, to learn and to engage. We hope you will help us build the new site into a robust and welcoming online wellness community. We will continue to develop the site into a one-stop shop for all things wellness across the university and all Trust employers.

Last week we mentioned the annual health assessment, digital health coaching and a new mission discovery tool. These great tools will be available early next week so check your email and the Be Colorado website to learn how to access the tools. Participation last year in the health assessment neared 15 percent, and we hope to double participation at the university this year. Take time to use this tool to gauge your progress from last year or to have a good sense of where you can make positive changes.

The mission discovery tool adds an exciting new element to the mix. Researchers understand very clearly that modifying habits, behaviors and routines are no easy tasks. Most people know what they need to do but struggle with the “how.” How will I find time? How can I afford to? How will I find the willpower? The mission discovery tool is built on a research- and evidence-based concept that people will more likely figure out the how when they take a few minutes to think about and create a personal life mission.

Some employees have said they want the wellness program to go beyond health screenings and an online questionnaire like the health assessment, and we agree. That’s why we are finalizing the development of Be Colorado. Move., an incentivized movement program that will pay you to meet baseline and proven movement goals – 30 minutes of moderate to intense movement, 12 times a month. Look for more details in the coming months and start talking to your friends and colleagues.

Research shows that not only do success rates for longitudinal behavior changes start with small steps, but a social support network also helps in the success. Take time to participate in the small steps – do the mission discovery tool; take the health assessment; engage at www.becolorado.org. And get excited for Be Colorado. Move., the next step in how the Trust is investing in our wellness.

For more information about Be Colorado and wellness opportunities across the Trust, or to help us spread the good word and become a Be Colorado Wellness Champion, go to www.becolorado.org or email questions@becolorado.org.

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