Constantly looking to improve its scope of services and to provide excellent value to its clients, J.W. Terrill added a Wellness Consultant to it employee benefits team in 2009. The Wellness Consultant position supplements the benefits program by providing wellness initiatives that positively impact the group experience. The leadership at J.W. Terrill; an insurance, benefits and risk management firm of about 200 employees, wanted to provide their clients with an experienced and committed professional in the wellness field. The Wellness Consultant is Diane Andrea, a registered and licensed dietitian who has been in the wellness field for over 20 years. Diane’s core purpose is to assist over 100 employers and J.W. Terrill with wellness initiatives that are tailored to each organization. It is because of Diane’s commitment to the wellness profession that she deserves consideration for the Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Hospital Dietetics from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. in Management & Strategy from Western Governors University. I am a registered and licensed dietitian, a certified health coach and Freedom from Smoking® facilitator. I have received academic honors from the University of Illinois, various workplace awards and several WELCOA certifications. J.W. Terrill received the Healthiest Employer Award from the St. Louis Business Journal in 2016. I have a strong desire to educate and encourage others on their path to well-being.
A successful program can mean different things to different organizations. I have been successful with initiating a physical activity challenge in a manufacturing facility where close to 90% of employees participated and the main success of the program was the comradery observed among employees in departments that previously never interacted. Whereas success in another organization was the implementation of a point-based system where employees were receiving premium discounts not just for their results, but for their behaviors. This turned into workplace sponsored 5Ks and bicycle rides during the workday to support the employee efforts. The smoking cessation classes I have taught have been successful, even if only 2 employees out of 10 in the class quit smoking. The personal satisfaction and freedom they receive goes beyond all measure. I have had opportunities to demonstrate healthy meal preparations and success was had when an employee later told me that the recipe I demonstrated was now her favorite recipe that she often prepares. It is gratifying to assist clients with onsite biometric screenings when they lead to an employee engaging with their physician because a previously unknown risk that the onsite screening revealed. All these events were examples of demonstrated success in the eyes of a wellness consultant.
It is my privilege to work with each individual client, review their claims experiences and other results and prepare a program suited to their culture. J.W. Terrill began a health contingent outcomes based program after many years of an engaging wellness program. J.W. Terrill has over 90% of eligible employees participating in the program and over 80% of the total employee population. The program will provide further statistics that will be helpful when determining the success of the program.
At J.W. Terrill, the wellness program is branded “Insuring Healthy Lifestyles.” Leadership is very supportive and participate in as many wellness programs that they are able. Our leaders have empowered me as an employee to make a difference in our employee population. Employees are decreasing their sugar intake, sharing their biometric results with their physician, walking in an employer sponsored 5K, participating in weight loss challenges, eating more fruits and vegetables and participating in smoking cessation programs. The employee benefits department had 100% participation in a workplace walk of 1 – 3 miles. The employee benefits team leader gave all the participants a half vacation day to show her support of the effort. As a health coach I have worked one-on-one with 10% of employees to help them achieve their healthy lifestyle goals
I enjoy being a champion for good health in my workplace and for my clients. I eat healthy and exercise regularly. I share tips and recipes with clients and on J.W. Terrill’s wellness website. I share weekly articles and newsletters with clients that highlight the National Health Observances and various well-being topics. I enjoy various fitness activities in the office such as wall push-ups and wall-sits while I am printing materials, inviting employees to join! I provide personalized health coaching to employees at my workplace. I serve as a preceptor for a dietetic internship program, sharing corporate wellness opportunities with students who are studying to become dietitians. I communicate the client’s wellness program to its employees, educate employees about various chronic diseases through presentations, sit on wellness committees to strategize programs for the employee population, provide fun wellness challenges, interact with employees at their annual health fair and help organize physical activity events. I have organized walks, healthy lunches, chair massages, healthy beverages, fruit and vegetable initiatives, healthy smoothies and many other fun activities. I believe that my MBA has enhanced my value in the workplace. Attitude is everything. I believe that little changes can make a big difference.
I think it is important to demonstrate instead of talk. I demonstrate how to cook with healthy ingredients, and provide healthy food samples. I bring in a heart model for employees to show where a heart attack occurs. I encourage employees to stand while they listen to my webinars on exercise. I have employees move when talking about fitness in the workplace. I lace up my shoes at lunch and walk, trying to take others with me. I prepare healthy beverages for employees during the workday. I get individuals, even fire fighters, to practice deep breathing at stress management programs. Employees can read the information themselves and can hear it too, but when someone demonstrates and lets the employee practice the behavior, then it becomes easier to do and more likely they will engage in the behavior later.
I also believe that wellness is a process that continues to change and evolve. I have assisted several clients, including J.W. Terrill with a strategic plan that lead to a health contingent outcomes based program. Since this type of program needs to be implemented with care and consideration, I assisted with vendor selection, communication and continued support of the programs.
I see so many opportunities for wellness professionals to make a mark in the workplace, but more guidance is needed. WELCOA provides excellent resources, but wellness professionals would benefit from more alliances in the profession, whether from their personal associations or through WELCOA. I am involved in a wellness dietetic practice group where other dietitians can collaborate and this has been very beneficial. It is so important to share within the profession and my role as a preceptor is one way I continue to pass the torch to the next generation of wellness professionals.