ENTRY FROM: 2019 Top Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Kimberly Sandmaier

Well-being Culture starts with Making Time for Me!

Kimberly Sandmaier brings more than 19 years of experience in workplace wellness to her current role as a Wellness Account Consultant for Aetna, a CVS Health Company. Her role is to work in partnership with customers in South Florida to assist in the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of well-being programs. Her ultimate goal is to learn as much as possible to make the biggest impact while proactively developing a consultative strategy around an effective and efficient wellness program design.
Kimberly has an extensive background in corporate wellness. She graduated with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Health Promotion/Education from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Community Health from Ohio University. Her certifications include Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), Certified Wellness Practitioner (CWP) from the National Wellness Institute and Certified Worksite Wellness Program Consultant (CWWPC) from the Chapman Institute. All her certifications offer great insight into workplace wellness and are excellent at continuing knowledge of the industry and offering inspiration for best practices. She is also an active WELCOA member with Faculty designation. She was previously employed as the first Wellness Coordinator for The School District of Palm Beach County, FL. Through her work in Risk & Benefits Management she transformed the District’s Wellness Program, creating a healthier environment by integrating financial incentives, surcharges, wellness champion networks and policy changes to motivate staff to become more engaged in their personal wellness while at the same time reducing health care costs for their 21,000 employees. She is also a dedicated wife (Michael), busy mom of three (Michael, Aiden & Kaitlyn) and active community member who has a passion for helping others live a healthy lifestyle.

Professional Development and Leadership:

Kimberly’s entire career and passion for life have been centered on health and wellness. It’s offered her new insight into dimensions of well-being, inspiration to be a role model, and amazing supportive friendships. She brings great passion and energy for inspiring a healthy lifestyle by her every day actions.

With an early interest in a career of medicine she began focusing on healthcare prevention. From early days spent volunteering in community health she knew it was her passion to help others to see the value in adopting a healthy lifestyle.

The fun part of the journey has been exploring the many different directions one can take in their career with the various dimensions of well-being. Her current role allows her to encourage others to enjoy positive changes towards better health to feel their best, while inspiring companies to create best in class wellness programs for their employees & family members. She prides herself on her ability to build effective relationships and bring together multiple resources for a common cause. Through her leadership and support she has been a key partner in programs that have improved the health of the population. For others entering this field her words of wisdom would be that it’s best to assess your needs, develop an action plan that supports incremental changes, gain leadership support and work as a team step by step to reverse the trends. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and surround yourself with positive connections that maintain your passion and inspire you to do more.

The best wellness project one can ever focus on is one’s self. The past few years has given her a greater appreciation of the challenge’s others face. A pattern of taking care of others and not taking care of herself began to affect her own personal health. This is when she realized herself what it takes to be a well-being champion to ultimately feel her best and be there for her family.  Her path to well-being may look different today than several years ago and not every day is perfect but she enjoys quiet walks with her dog, naps with her cat, bike rides around her neighborhood to feel like a kid again, spends time appreciating the outdoors and playing with her family, loves using essential oils, takes mindful moments to be in the present and enjoy life’s little moments, makes sure she has healthy snacks on-the-go, practices gratitude daily and uses her apple watch to help push her reach her daily health goals.

Success Stories and Innovation:

Her experience continues to grow with her motivation and desire to help others achieve success with their workplace well-being program. As an integral part of the Workplace Health & Well-being Consulting group of the Southeast Region, she works in partnership with the South Florida Sales & Account Management teams to consult with customers to help ensure their employees the best possible wellness programs. This unique role allows her to lend support and expertise in developing wellness strategies and comprehensive well-designed programs for maximum possible value on investment in Aetna’s wellness programs. She currently works with over 60 organizations to provide services that impact the assessment, planning, delivery and/or evaluation of their wellness strategy.  Activities include education and problem solving around: strategy design, program consultation, concierge implementation services for things like customized communication plans, health screenings, fitness challenges, health assessment/online coaching campaigns, and guidance plans/executive summaries.  She also provides general information at capabilities meetings and attends health fairs or other workplace community events. This multi-dimensional approach to wellness allows her to build relationships that understand the customer needs and develop appropriate interventions to manage the health of their population.

In addition to supporting numerous organizations in their path to well-being, she also lead’s Aetna’s internal well-being committee for the Sunrise/Plantation Walk worksite of over 500 employees, which recently received an Aetna “Gold Level” Healthy worksite initiative award at a 94%. She went from their office not having any worksite wellness program two years ago to achieving silver after the first year, and then gold the second year. She also helped her office achieve the first Aetna “Gold Award” from the Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance.  Less than 5% of employees currently use tobacco thanks to comprehensive tobacco cessation benefits and a tobacco-free workplace.

She is most proud of the awards her customers have won for their well-being efforts, including six South Florida Aetna Workplace Well-being Award winners in 2018, out of 18 companies recognized, and over 10 companies that are in the process of applying for the 2019 award.  This is a true testament of her effort to partner with companies to design and implement effective and customized programs that measure their success.

As a trailblazer in wellness, Kimberly is committed to be an innovator in the field. She consistently finds ways to implement program and policy changes that support good health.  Wellness is no longer just nice to have it’s become a valuable benefits strategy. She gains energy from collaborations and partnerships she has within the community that all strive towards the same mission.  A few things that have contributed to her success include providing valuable feedback, sharing timely health messages & visuals, informative social media posts, solutions for incentive design, building leadership support and wellness champion networks, and offering ongoing reporting metrics to further drive success. These have proven to be great tools as she assists others in maintaining or adopting a culture of well-being.

Compelling Vision:

Kimberly believes that the health promotion industry has the power to shape the lifelong health and well-being of the community. With health care reform, health care cost control and population health management being high priorities, it is more important than ever to have an effective strategy to support wellness. Wellness isn’t a one size all approach. In working with various employers, you can imagine how different they all are regarding their size, culture, resources, environment, support, or logistics and she has the challenge of meeting each of them where they are in their journey with corporate wellness.

It’s time we re-imagine well-being to build a healthier workforce and a healthier world. Creating a culture of well-being is not a one-and-done proposition. Our wellness programs need to evolve and align with our busy lives. Our current lifestyle is blocking our path to thrive. Many diseases and injuries are preventable, but we are sitting more, overly stressed, not sleeping, and moving towards poor health and companies are feeling the impact with higher healthcare costs. The right wellness solution is different for each organization and/or individual, but we can join in this journey together to view wellness more holistically to achieve our health ambitions.

She believes that we need evolve digitally with new technology tools that make health easy, stay fresh by trying new things, take proactive steps towards healthy behaviors and make healthcare simpler and easier to navigate. By being local and offering more community resources we can empower individuals to take personal responsibility for their health by encouraging small changes and better choices.

As wellness evolves Kimberly strives to create a cultural shift toward health, well-being and self-accountability while providing fun ways to pursue healthy everyday habits in a personalized approach. She is proud of the work Aetna has done to make health care better one healthy day at a time and is excited about what the future holds to transform health care in partnership with CVS Health.  Her focus will be to continue using data driven decisions to improve population health and work collaboratively with dedicated individuals to develop comprehensive solutions. Her ultimate vision is to better herself and her programs every year in order to best serve the community and allow individuals to enjoy a quality of life that moves health and well-being from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

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