ENTRY FROM: The Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Heather Vanca

Delivering WOW wellness programs!

eni originally started as an employee benefit company offering EAPs, Wellness and Health Advocacy programs. Today, we have evolved to become experts of integrating multiple benefit offerings. Heather Vanca joined eni in 2008 as a Personal Wellness Coordinator and was promoted to Wellness Program Manager in 2010. Her expertise in developing and implementing synergistic wellness programs enabled eni to provide Ithaca College with an integrated wellness program that actively engaged, educated and empowered a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.

Heather Vanca

1. Professional Development

I earned my Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science and minor in Health from Ithaca College in 1992.  Further increasing my knowledge in the wellness field I have obtained Corporate Wellness Certification and am a member of the WELCOA Faculty. It is my certification as a Wellcoaches Health Coach that I am most proud of.  This certification has allowed me to work one-on-one with clients guiding them in making behavior changes and living a healthier lifestyle.  I wanted to work with people helping them to make healthy lifestyle choices and to guide them with the goals they had set for themselves.

2. Demonstrated Success

Ithaca College's Mind, Body, Me Wellness program is focused on total health and to develop a truly comprehensive and engaging wellness program, it was key to integrate and leverage several internal and external resources for program design.  Now moving into our 3rd year of the program we have seen a 32% cost saving in medical claims, 6% change in total health scores and a 5% decrease in BMI.  Utilization of the fitness center, wellness clinic and health coaching program has impacted total cholesterol 3 % and increased HDL 5 % and 246 individuals completed 1365 health coach calls (average of 5.5 calls per individual per year).   33% of benefit eligible employees along with the College President and additional administrative personnel have engaged in the wellness program. Ithaca College’s wellness initiative has met objectives set forth by the Wellness Planning Team producing true returns that have helped to mitigate costly health conditions and improve the overall physical and behavioral health of their employee population.  We leveraged the use of a data warehouse to analyze medical claims. Instead of adopting a standard wellness program for all employees, Ithaca elected to continue on a wellness journey with a purposeful, well-crafted plan to customize a solution that produced real results, helping them achieve their top priority, to thoroughly engage employees ensuring to never lose sight of their three main goals to educate, motivate and empower employees to take control of their health and wellbeing. We wanted to create a comprehensive program designed to meet people’s individuals health needs in a holistic manner.  Elements included health risk assessment, biometric screenings, fitness assessments, health coaching, monthly wellness presentations, group exercise classes and more.  The program was launched in sequential “Flights” of 50 participants and to ensure support and encouragement participants were provided with an orientation and welcome packet upon starting the program.  The program then communicated on a regular basis weekly wellness tips, monthly newsletters, frequent email blasts, and social media updates. We created a dashboard to measure program success.  To create the dashboard all strategic partners worked together to pull data points resulting in great data integration allowing for future program planning.

3. Leadership

I am involved in eni's in-house wellness program participating in wellness challenges, activites and presentations.  It is important to me that I follow our companies 11 core values allowing me to perform at the best of my ability within my job and community roles.

4.  Innovation

In 2013, I developed a mobile application that has provided our customers and clients easier access to information and program communication.  This mobile application is an extension of eni's personal assistant, counseling and wellness services all seamlessly integrated into an easy to use app.  Users can view their completed assessment results, use tools and trackers, receive health information and participate in their virtual fitness and nutrition programs.

5. Compelling Vision

We need to assist individuals in becoming better health care consumers and help them become more engaged in their health care.  We need better connectivity and a seamless connection to population health.  I think that technological advances in our industy will provide us with unique opportunities that we have not seen before.  My company is an early innovator of integrated benefit offering such as Wellness, Medical Plans, EAPs, Health Advocacy, etc.  We are providing holistic programs that can be customized for each individual.  This integrated benefit solution allows for increased knowledge of benefits, reduced sick time, increased productivity at work and a higher level of job satisfaction.  Instead of just offering a standard wellness program we need to be focused on aligining people and programming to drive culture and behavior change.


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Heather Vanca Ithaca College Mind, Body, ME Logo
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Heather V.
Heather Vanca received her Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science at Ithaca College. She has been working for several years as the Wellness Program Manager at eni, working with customers to develop wellness programming and interventions. Heather also generates risk factor reports and consults companies on specific wellness initiatives based on results. She is a certified Wellcoaches Health Coach and provides Health Coaching with a one on one relationship building rapport and trust with clients to create behavior change. Heather also has expertise in developing corporate wellness programs based on company’s culture, goals and objectives. View Heather V.'s Profile.
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Comments 14

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Each day Heather continues to grow her knowledge and depth around "wellbeing". She enjoys taking time to get to know her coaching clients and consider the larger behavioral issues that may lie under the surface for her clients and seeks to develop a plan that will meet their goals and change their lives!

Towhee V. on 11/25/2014

Heather and her team have developed an incredible work site program for our team - giving them practical exercises that can be done in office and throughout the day to ensure that our team improves their core strength and counters the side effects of remaining sedentary - it's awesome!

Towhee V. on 11/07/2014

Heather's commitment to wellness has been instrumental in growing the wellness program in our company. She influences those around her to make better choices. She has tons of ideas that help with proposals for additional business. She cares about people's health and it shows!

Miriam O. on 10/24/2014

Heather you rock! The diligence and dedication demonstrated by you have been mentioned by your supervisors and your colleagues. We have all noticed your enthusiasm and dedication. Thank you for your significant contribution to our success.

Melanie O. on 10/24/2014

Heather's efforts have been instrumental in growing the wellness program into the success that it is today. She influences those around her to become more health conscious.

Miriam O. on 10/24/2014

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