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Renville County poised to be healthier workplace

OLIVIA -- Renville County is poised to become a healthier workplace, thanks to an initiative to help county employees make healthy choices.

Renville County is one of two worksites selected to implement the Cottonwood-Jackson-Redwood-Renville County Statewide Health Improvement Program's Healthy Worksites Initiative.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Healthy Worksite consultants will provide support to Renville County for a period of 13 months to create an environment to improve wellness and good health. Renville County will learn how to implement healthy practices and programs designed to positively affect the health of their workers and community.

Kris Koehler, a healthy worksite consultant with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, termed the work under way at Renville County a "comprehensive worksite intervention."

Proven and sustainable strategies for encouraging healthier choices will be introduced, according to Koehler.

Those strategies include leadership support for an environmental approach, tobacco-free workplace policies, the combination of a tailored tobacco cessation program and quit medications, policies and practices that make healthy foods more available and more affordable than unhealthy foods and workplaces that offer time and places for employees to be active during the workday. Ultimately, the healthy choice will be made the easy choice.