ENTRY FROM: The Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Eric Ziarek

Live Healthy Live Smart

Rockwell Automation
I currently serve as the Wellness Program Lead for Rockwell Automation Health Services - operated by QuadMed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Rockwell Automation is the world's largest company dedicated to industrial automation.
I have been in the Wellness field for 13 years.
Rockwell Automation has over 19,000 employees globally.

Professional Development

I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Worksite Health Promotion from Winona State University in 2001.  To date I have achieved 8 WELCOA certifications and obtained the WELCOA faculty designation. In addition to the faculty designation I have successfully submitted three Well Workplace Award applications. I have always been a curious individual and wanted to know more about Worksite Wellness so I could fulfill my passion of helping people be their best self.There is no greater reward than seeing some accomplish a goal and knowing that you helped them, that is why I entered the field.  I believe the combination of my WELCOA certifications, my educational preparation and my internship experience at the Wellness Council of Wisconsin have had the greatest impact on me and my career.

Demonstrated Success

Rockwell Automation is committed to improving the standard of living for everyone by making the world more productive and sustainable. Rockwell is proud to provide the tools and resources necessary to enable employees to be active managers of their health. Rockwell Automation believes that rewarding outcomes is the best way to achieve outcomes. That’s why Rockwell has moved beyond just awareness of individual health risks to now focus on taking action on personal health goals and achieving outcomes that matter. One of the biggest issues facing Rockwell and the country is obesity. When it comes to conquering obesity it is generally accepted that eating right and getting plenty of physical activity are absolutes.  After reviewing the data and collecting feedback from our Wellness team we created the  “Choose to Lose” program, a 14 week program  that combines bi-weekly education on healthy eating topics (healthy grocery shopping, mindful eating and dining out) with physical activity sessions and 1:1 appointments with the onsite wellness coach and personal trainer. The program to date has experienced  a high rate of success. Over 66% of the participants enrolled have been successful in losing weight. In addition to the health status improvements we also assessed behavior pre and post program. The results showed an increase in behaviors, specifically in the amount of exercise logged during the program. As an intern for the Wellness Council of Wisconsin, I learned that a successful program had a strong foundation. There is no stronger foundation for wellness programming than WELCOA’s 7 Benchmarks. Not only did we capture our senior level support and create an appropriate intervention based on our data collection efforts, we crafted an operating plan to keep us moving forward  on additional programs and efforts addressing physical activity and nutrition in the workplace. Finally we evaluate our programs to ensure participant satisfaction and to determine any health outcomes.


I work very hard to walk the talk. I strive to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into my schedule every day as I am keenly aware of the consequences if I don’t!  In addition to the physical dimension of wellbeing I focus on managing my stress and getting adequate sleep. My experience as an intern for the Wellness Council of Wisconsin and continued professional development have had a huge impact on my development as a leader. My internship provided me with valuable networking opportunities and those opportunities lead to my involvement with the University of Wisconsin and their Health Wellness Management Bachelor Degree Program, where I serve on the Academic Advisory Board. My advice to future leaders is to never stop learning, keep networking and never be afraid to do the hard things. Do the things that no one else is doing. Attend conferences, stay current on wellness trends, read and react and read and react some more and always invest in yourself.


One of the more unique things to Rockwell Automation are their onsite clinics. Employees can be seen by a MD, have labs drawn or receive on site  Physical Therapy all at no to little cost to the employee. Included in this model is wellness coaching. Making the clinic a true medical home. The clinic truly serves as an innovative solution for total population health management

Compelling Vision

I feel that the biggest challenge our industry faces in the next 5 years is the lack of true engagement. More and more we are seeing division within the industry along with damaging press portraying wellness programs as punishments and simply a way for organizations to poke and prod individuals to do the things we think are right for them. We need to shift the story of wellness and look at more than just the physical wellbeing of the individual, programs need to look at increasing resilience and managing stress, along with improving happiness. Wellness programs should motivate people to become engaged participants in their lives and show how being well can lead to a fulfilled life, one with purpose. That is why I will pursue a better understanding of engagement and behavior change and work tirelessly to change how we deliver wellness going forward.

You can vote as often as you like. You may vote once per hour per entry.
When you come back, use the search function to find this entry.
Flag as Inappropriate

You can vote as often as you like. You may vote once per hour per entry.
When you come back, use the search function to find this entry.


profile photo Posted by
Eric Z.
I am graduate of Winona State University, Winona, Minn., having earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, with an emphasis in worksite health promotion. I have over 13 years of experience with smoking cessation, weight and stress management, nutritional counseling, preventive care, physical activity and chronic health programming. My 13 plus years of experience include the Wellness Council of Wisconsin, Assurant Health and Columbia St. Mary's, currently I am the Health Management Program Lead at QuadMed - Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I am a WELCOA Faculty member and responsible for successfully attaining 3 Well Workplace designations. View Eric Z.'s Profile.
Post a Comment

Comments 0

Comments are in order of newest to oldest

Post a Comment