ENTRY FROM: The Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Tim Pingel

Corporate Wellness Ambassador in Wisconsin

Tim Pingel received his Bachelor in Physical Education from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. With 18 years of progressive experience in the health and wellness field, Tim is the Health and Wellness Manager at J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. - a family-owned Manufacturing Company which serves as a leader in providing businesses with innovative regulatory and compliance solutions. Tim manages 1,300 total associates including 50+ offsite field sales and consulting associates; occuping over 540,000 square feet of office and plant facilities in 4 locations.

Professional Development
Investment in professional development is important to Tim, he lives by the moto, “The journey to the ultimate achievement never ends” – Genero Crenshaw.   He believes strongly that he needs to take action to continue his education.   He has earned various certifications such as:  NWI Certified Wellness Practitioner (4/2011), NWI Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist (8/2012), and NWI Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager (8/2012).  In addition, his achievements are admirable: 
• WELCOA Well Workplace Award – Silver (2009)
• WELCOA Well Workplace Award – Gold (2012)
• Community Blood Center - Blood Drive Coordinator of the Year (2013)
• WELCOA Well Workplace Award – Platinum (2013)
• Well City Fox Cities (2013)
• American Heart Associate Fit-Friendly Award – Platinum (2014)
• Wellness Council of Wisconsin Board of Directors
Of these countless awards, winning the Well Workplace Platinum award has been the most valuable to Tim as well as to J. J. Keller & Associates.  The award provided an opportunity to set J. J. Keller apart from other organizations, and as a family-owned company, they strongly believed that the Associates are the greatest asset to the company.

Tim always had an inner desire to educate others; but, he also wanted an area that offered lots of diversity and a career in Health Promotion provided this.  In addition, Tim explained that being able to see people find that inner trigger and make lifestyle changes that stick is a very rewarding experience.  Workplace health promotion has the added benefit of being able to work with the same people (a captive audience), which can also be a challenge. 

Demonstrated Success
In 2009, J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. opened an onsite clinic which is offered to all Associates at no additional coss and can be used while on work-time.  They started with one nurse practitioner, and now within just 5 years, have increased the staffing to two nurse practitioners working a total of 60 hours per week, plus a 20 hour per week medical assistant and a full-time health coach.  The onsite clinic was a major factor in our culture shift to a healthier organization.  It provides the associates with so many interventions including prevention and self-care, education and awareness and is integrated into so many other areas of the company it becomes the hub on referrals to EAP, targeted programming and specialized care in local medical system when needed.

Participation & Satisfaction
• Utilization of the onsite clinic increased from 73% in 2012 to 82% in 2013
• 94% satisfaction with services offered and comfort level with the staff
• Increase health coaching utilization from 21% in 2012 to 36% in 2013
Improvement in knowledge and attitudes
• 92% of participants have a primary care physician (1% pt. increase)
• 74% stated they had a physical exam in past 12 months (5% pt. increase)
• 83% of men do monthly self-exams while 77% of women do self-exams
Changes in biometric measures
• Actively engaged coaching participants (with 5 or more sessions) had an average score improvement of 59 points compared to just a 19 point improvement for all participants. Associates engaged in coaching can demonstrate results about 3-times greater than those without coaching
• Company average bioscreen score improved from 800 in to a score of 819 in 2013
Changes in productivity
• Productivity savings in 2013 based on onsite health clinic utilization is $193,000
Improvement in behavior
• 64% of participants exercise regularly (up from 41% in 2009)
Changes in risk factors
• 61% of participants at Low Risk (11% improvement from 2011)
• 14% improved their risk level from 2012 to 2013 (1% increase)
while 8% showed a decrease in risk level, showing a positive 6% shift

WELCOA’s 7 benchmarks have been instrumental to J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. wellness program.  Tim started following WELCOA’s roadmap back in 2007 and the Well Workplace Award history shows the continuous improvement with Silver earned in 2009, Gold in 2012 followed by a perfect score and Platinum in 2013.  In 2001, Tim explains, “we had CEO support and a wellness team, but were only providing awareness and education campaigns one or two participation-based interventions on physical activity or weight management and a health assessment. It was a “nice to have” benefit with no major connection to the company and no strategic outlook.  From 2009 to 2013, I begin to craft and work off an annual operating plan.  This brought the wellness program to the attention of many leaders in the organization, especially when it became a company strategic priority in 2012.  The other key was integrating our wellness program with benefits, our health insurance broker our onsite clinic vendor, HR Services and Executive when we formed the Health and Wellness Steering Committee which also includes the CEO.”


Being a part of Well City Fox Cities since its inception in 2009 has helped bring about greater networking and collaboration with other health promotion professionals in the area. Tim is part of a 100%-voluntary Advisory Board and was put in a leadership position heading up the Learning Circles and mentoring because of his proven experience working with the Well Workplace process.  Tim explained that many times you attend conferences and here from vendors; but it is the individuals with their boots on the ground working within their organizations trying to make a difference, that are the leaders and have a true view of health promotion in worksites.  Tim shared his advice for other wellness practitioners, “as a leader in health promotion you have to stay diverse and continually look at the big picture.  It is easy to get pulled into the day to day tasks or do what is trendy; you cannot do every idea that is presented to you.  Before you know it, you will look back and see that little was truly accomplished.  Leaders in health promotion need to take that time regularly to strategically plan and align with the organization.” 


Leadership Wellness Tool Kit – The most recent innovative solution Tim put in place at J. J. Keller was the use of a Leadership Wellness Tool Kit.  He found as the company continues to grow smaller cultures were forming between buildings and departments.  In turn, it was becoming difficult to provide interventions and other awareness campaigns that fit into every department’s culture and timing.  Therefore, the tool kit provides leaders (who are the gatekeepers on wellness participation) with three primary leadership strategies, including:  sharing the wellness vision, serving as a role model and aligning cultural touch points.  Within each strategy are quick, ready to use communication tools (email templates promoting wellness campaigns and other benefits). 

K-LIFE Wellness Points – is an innovation tied to J. J. Keller’s health insurance incentive program, which is based on our Associate Principle of “shared responsibility equals shared results.”  The health insurance premiums are equally shared between associates and the company.  However, by participating in the health-contingent K-LIFE Points program, associates, along with their spouses can earn an additional 18% in company contributions to their premiums through active engaged participation focused on health assessment biometrics.  Associates achieving the highest incentive (level 3) through participation and/or improvements in their health assessment biometrics increased 9 percentage points over the previous year.  In turn, health insurance premium increase for 2015 is at 0.

Personal Training Referral Pilot – This 6-week pilot program targeted moderate and high risk individuals who were referred through the health coaching program.  100% of the participants completed the program and 45% strongly agreed to noticeable improvements in cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength.  The pilot program finished with a 95% satisfaction level.

Compelling Vision
When asked, Tim shared his vision for the health promotion industry,  "I have had a passion for worksite wellness from day one in my career.  I have never felt that worksite wellness should be a silo, or competitive, with other organizations.  We all have a similar vision for our worksites and in order for health promotion to truly affect the lives of those around us in the next five years, we need to all work together as we are fighting an uphill battle with our inactive, poor nutrition, self-centered American culture.  I believe wellness regulations are a threat to the industry; conversely; the same regulations provide great opportunities.  Wellness regulations are allowing companies to provide a greater incentive and provide a roadmap to make it inclusive.  However, employees feel health insurance is an entitlement when there really needs to be that shared responsibility.  With new regulations comes poorly designed programs that can generates a fair amount of negative media attention and overshadow the great efforts of organizations who are just trying to help their most valuable assets be healthy."

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