Walsh Duffield is pleased to share that their Wellness Team Leader, Marie Story has been named as one of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA)’s Top 50 Health Promotion Professionals. Marie is one of three Wellness Coordinators on staff at Walsh Duffield, a Buffalo based insurance agency that focuses on selling business insurance and employee benefits, as well as personal insurance.
In order to qualify for this national recognition, nominees are ranked by their professional development, demonstrated success, leadership, innovation and compelling vision within the wellness space. Additionally, they must be currently creating, coordinating, and maintaining ongoing health promotion programs. This award is unique to the field in that scoring is based not only on votes from a peer group, but also by the empirical review of a distinguished judging panel.
While Walsh Duffield focuses on bringing wellness and risk management solutions to clients, Marie has seen some of the greatest success stories within the walls of the Walsh offices. Walsh Duffield’s wellness program, titled Wellness Daily, allows employees and their spouses the opportunity to participate in annual biometric screening for metabolic syndrome (blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, fasting glucose, waist circumference and triglycerides). This program provides insight into how each individual can make healthy lifestyle changes to lower their risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer. The goal is to make participants aware of their health status and then give them the tools to lead a healthier lifestyle. 90% of employees engaged with their physician last year and aggregate reporting for the screening program shows positive shifts in moving people from high to moderate to low risk with 86% of employees in the low-risk category.
Additionally, Walsh Duffield has implemented ergonomic assessments for all of the staff, offering standing workstations, which more than 60% of employees are currently utilizing. Not only does the standing desk help with posture and encourage movement throughout the day, but it helps to improve productivity. These, along with other initiatives have led to a strong wellness culture at Walsh Duffield, allowing the organization to be recognized both locally and nationally in this space.
Marie is currently focused on the shift in measurement for corporate wellness programs. In the past, there has been heavy emphasis on medical savings, but there are other growing ways to measure the Value on Investment (VOI) for wellness programs, such as assessing absenteeism, retention, recruitment and employee morale. Wellness is much more than just physical health and disease prevention and when a program is truly successful, it is ingrained in an organization’s culture and a sign that a company is invested in its employees’ wellbeing.
Marie has her Master’s degree in health promotion and education and holds certifications as an ACSM Personal Trainer, ACE Health Coach and is a NCHEC Certified Health Education Specialist. All of these certifications are critical for bringing best practices to clients and helping individuals work on their personal health goals.
WELCOA (The Wellness Council of America) is one of the nation’s most-respected resources for building high-performing, healthy workplaces. With a 30 year history and more than 5,000 corporate members, WELCOA has an impeccable reputation for helping business and health professionals improve employee well-being and create healthier organizational cultures.