Blue Ox has a

Blue Ox has a registered nurse on staff as part of the company’s new wellness program

Supplier Blue Ox recently launched a wellness program as an additional benefit for its employees, 100% funded by the Pender, Neb.-based supplier.

“It’s totally voluntary and is an additional benefit that Blue Ox has committed to for the overall well being of our employees,” said Blue Ox President and CEO Ellen Kietzmann in a press release.

So far, over 50% of Blue Ox’s employees are participating in the program.

“I’m really passionate about wellness – it’s all about prevention,” Kietzmann said. “Early detection is critical in long-term health.”

Blue Ox’s registered nurse, in conjunction with an independent health organization, will be working with each employee, conducting a biometric screening and then designing a program to meet each employee’s needs.

A biometric screening is an important component of Blue Ox’s comprehensive health and wellness program, providing important baseline data to shape the direction of their corporate wellness program. For employees, these screenings provide information on current and potential medical issues. When combined with a health risk assessment, employees have reliable information about their risk for chronic preventable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, and can identify a path for disease prevention and improved health.

Kietzmann pointed out that there are three fundamentals which prevent people from participating in a wellness program – cost, the time to go to a doctor and find the right program, and the financial incentive for them to do it.  “We’ve eliminated these obstacles,” Kietzmann said, “and even provided the financial reward.”

Working with the nurse, employees need to have specific goals – and they need to commit to those goals and identify their top three vulnerable areas. If they eliminate or make significant improvement in one area, employees will receive a reduction next year in their medical insurance premiums.

Kietzmann said, “A person being healthier not only impacts the company, it also impacts the quality of the employee’s personal life as well.  The two have to be in harmony in order to have a happy workforce.”