“Wellness works when you build awareness of it. We’ve seen it firsthand,” shared Corinna Fiorvanti, senior manager of Total Rewards for Blain Supply, Inc., a specialty discount retailer with 38 stores throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. “With the right encouragement and resources, people will either maintain or improve their health,” she said.
In 2008, Blain Supply teamed with Healics, Inc., to create a wellness program and lay the foundation for a culture dedicated to better employee health. After an initial launch at just five Blains Farm & Fleet stores and its corporate office, the retailer expanded the Healics wellness program in 2009 to all of its locations. Today, close to 2,000 Blain’s associates and spouses take advantage of the company’s wellness offerings, which includes an annual health risk assessment (HRA), ongoing education, motivation and challenges, and up to six coaching sessions with a Healics certified wellness coach per year.
“Each of our stores and the corporate office have a different dynamic,” Fiorvanti explained. “Healics has helped us foster a program that engages employees and keeps the wellness momentum going.”
Since partnering with Healics, Blain’s has seen tangible and quantifiable success with its wellness efforts, both externally through industry recognition, and internally through improved employee health.
In 2015, Blain Supply earned a prestigious Gold Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). Launched in 1991, WELCOA’s Well Workplace Initiative recognizes quality and excellence in worksite health promotion and is driven by a rigorous set of criteria. Blain’s is one of about 1,000 companies nationwide that has met those criteria and been recognized as some of America’s healthiest companies.
Amy Taubenheim, Blain Supply’s benefits manager, led the effort to compile the necessary data for the WELCOA award and complete the lengthy application process. “At Blain’s, we want to consistently expand and improve our wellness efforts,” she said. “It was very rewarding to earn the Gold Award, but now we’re shooting for Platinum, and we’re just a few points away.”
Internally, Blain Supply has seen ongoing improvements in participants’ health risk scores. As a whole, associates and their spouses have consistently reduced their risks for health issues and disease as determined through the comprehensive annual Healics HRA, which includes a detailed health questionnaire, blood analysis and a collection of biometric data. Essentially a road map to wellness, the Healics HRA identifies major health risks, which with proper guidance, might be lowered to potentially prevent chronic health problems.
“As our participants age, the majority have been able to sustain or improve their health, which is just amazing,” Fiorvanti noted. “And we’ve definitely moved the needle for those in higher health risk categories.”
In 2013, Blain’s added Healics coaching services to its menu of wellness choices. Program participants have the option to meet with a Healics certified wellness coach throughout the year to address specific items of interest, such as weight loss, nutrition, stress management and fitness. According to Taubenheim, almost all Blain’s associates and spouses enrolled in the wellness program take advantage of the coaching option.
“Retail can be stressful, particularly during the Christmas season, so it’s a very nice outlet for associates to have a coach that they can talk to and turn to,” Taubenheim said. “At most of our stores, the Healics coach has become a part of the Blain family.”
Lisa Burkhardt, a Blain’s training coordinator, says her experience with Healics certified wellness coach Stacy Schmocker has helped to change her life.
“I’ve lost 20 pounds and kept if off for over a year and a half,” Burkhardt shared. “I felt an immediate connection with Stacy, and she helped me make small changes in my life that have really made a difference.” Burkhardt added, “Stacy has helped me learn that I’m in charge of what I put into my body, and that I owe it to myself to be at a healthier weight.”
“Lisa and I share similar personalities and values, which is one of the reasons we work so well together” Schmocker agreed. “It’s been so rewarding to help Lisa take proactive steps to make positive changes in her life, see progress and achieve goals.” She noted, “With Lisa and every participant, I gear each coaching session to what she truly needs at the time. I listen, encourage, support and provide the resources to make her goals a reality,” Schmocker said.
Burkhardt, who organizes the HRAs and coaching sessions at the Chippewa Falls Blain’s Farm & Fleet location, knows that other store associates share her praises of Schmocker.
“Everyone feels inspired by Stacy,” Burkhardt said. “She takes the time to educate us and makes us all really think, without preaching in any way.” She added, “Stacy does the homework for us, so we can make smart choices, when we’re on break here at the store or at home.”
Schmocker regularly brings portable fitness tools to her sessions for participants to try or will demonstrate exercises. She also provides easy recipes and healthy food or drink options to sample. “In most cases, I’m able to purchase flax seeds, nuts or other snacks right at Blains, so associates can see that they do have healthy options available to them right where they work,” Schmocker shared.
“Stacy knows that many of us don’t make a lot of money, so she always offers choices that won’t exceed our budgets,” Burkhardt said. “She takes the time to understand who we are and really connect to each of us. That’s what keeps us so motivated.”
Schmocker feels blessed to be part of the Blain’s wellness team. “Blain’s shows true dedication to its employees and offers a proactive and interactive approach to wellness in so many ways. From company-wide contests, information and challenges to consistent support of Healics HRA and coaching program, Blain’s want me and everyone I work with to succeed,” Schmocker said.
As for Blain Supply, the company is pleased to have Healics on its team. “When we evaluated wellness partners back in 2008, Healics really stood out as the best choice for us,” Fiorvanti shared. “Healics is closely aligned with the Blain culture and receptive to our unique needs.” She added, “Rather than a cookie cutter approach, we knew that together, we could design a wellness program that best fit our associates and would bring the results that we as an organization wanted.”