Blog

Health and Wellness Gave Her a New Beginning, and Now, a Career in Corporate Wellness

Jessica Waytashek corporate wellness program coordinator
Jessica Waytashek manages a corporate wellness program for Mills Fleet Farm. This spring, she will earn a Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management from University of Wisconsin.

Mom. Wife. Personal Trainer. Marathon Runner. Fitness & Health Advocate.

After reading Jessica Waytashek’s ten-word Twitter description, it’s hard to believe that she could fit anything more into her busy life. But she’s also a student in the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management program, set to earn her bachelor’s degree this spring.

What’s even more impressive is that Jessica has already landed a job as the health and wellness coordinator for Mills Fleet Farm. She was originally hired as a benefits specialist, but the company created a new position for her last May after considering her interests and soon-to-be degree. At the moment, she is designing a corporate wellness program, which includes health risk assessments and biometric screenings.

Jessica loves it.

[Read more…]

It’s a Hit! Free Online Worksite Wellness Course Draws 1,600 Attendees

Expert Dr. David Chenoweth, instructor for worksite wellness course
Internationally known wellness expert Dr. David Chenoweth hosted Dynamics of Worksite Wellness Evaluation and ROI, a free online course offered by the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management program in fall 2014.

This past fall, the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management program offered a free online course in worksite wellness program evaluation—and it was a hit!

More than 1,600 attended Dynamics of Worksite Wellness Evaluation and ROI, a four-session massive open online course (MOOC) that kicked off October 20. Hosted by renowned wellness expert Dr. David Chenoweth, the course taught attendees from around the world the tools and strategies they need to evaluate worksite wellness programs, calculate ROI, and prove the value of wellness initiatives to top management within their organizations.

[Read more…]

How Healthy is Your Wellness Program? Find Out in October—Attend a Free Online Course in Workplace Wellness ROI

Whether you’d like to start a workplace wellness program or you want to gauge the effectiveness of the program you already have, you need to know how to measure its impact—on employees and on the organization’s bottom line.

This October, learn the tools the tools you need to prove the value of any worksite wellness program.
This October, learn the tools you need to prove the value of any worksite wellness program.

That’s why the University of Wisconsin Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program has partnered with renowned wellness expert, Dr. David Chenoweth, to bring you Dynamics of Worksite Wellness Evaluation and ROI—a FREE four-session, online MOOC (massive open online course) starting October 20. [Read more…]

The Secret to Successful Worksite Wellness Programs? Branding.

uw hwmApple, Google, Coca-Cola – great companies have great brands. While essential to a company’s success, creating a successful brand is no easy task. Branding health and wellness programs is no less essential and equally as challenging. Instructors with the University of Wisconsin’s online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program understand this challenge, and they see the need to train wellness professionals capable of branding successful programs.

“Branding your products and services is about building trust,” says Theresa Islo, UW Health and Wellness Management program manager, “and branding a wellness program is no different. Great brands build and maintain trust through consistently positive consumer experiences.” [Read more…]

Be Proactive: Shaping Your Career in Health and Wellness Management

Be passionate, be proactive, and be personal. That’s Michelle Spehr’s approach to her career and her life. As a health and wellness consultant with the Benefit Services Group, Inc., her passion is helping others improve their well-being through health and wellness management programs. For Spehr, the well-being of others is personal.

Michelle Spehr – Health and Wellness Consultant, The Benefit Services Group, Inc.

“I was drawn to health and wellness as a result of my personal experience growing up with a family member living with end stage renal disease,” Spehr says. “Many diseases are preventable or can be better managed. I wanted a career that would contribute to helping individuals make lifestyle decisions that can prevent serious health issues.” [Read more…]

Changing Roles and Growing Opportunities in Health and Wellness Management

bio
Erin Ratelis

Just over 15 years ago, the health and wellness job landscape looked vastly different, and less promising, than today. Erin Ratelis, the director of content development with Optum Resource Center for Health and Well-Being, knows this firsthand. She was wrapping up her bachelor’s degree in community health education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, preparing to head into the workforce. Her goal was improving people’s health. However, at the time, there simply weren’t a lot of jobs geared toward the skill set of a health and wellness professional.

“When I started out, you really had to dig to find a wellness-related job opening,” says Ratelis, who is also an advisory board member for the UW online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program. “Now, there’s this entire burgeoning business around health and wellness. Employers, health plans, entrepreneurs, and public entities all over the world are investing in the idea of creating a culture of health and well-being.” [Read more…]

Career Opportunities in Health and Wellness Management Grow as More Employers Demand Worker Participation in Worksite Wellness

Historically, employers have had to foot the bill for healthcare. Workers rarely understand how much this costs employers, but the marketplace is happy working outdoorschanging – fast. An industry previously reliant on employers absorbing the costs of employee health coverage is becoming a thing of the past, as employers seek to battle rising healthcare costs. One way employers are trying to control costs is through voluntary, incentive-based wellness programs. But a growing number demand that employees participate in programs or pay up.

Regardless of the approach, getting a wellness program in place can be successfully accomplished – especially with a professional knowledgeable in health and wellness management leading the effort. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 21-percent growth rate in this profession over the next decade. The University of Wisconsin’s online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program was created to meet this growing demand. [Read more…]

Wisconsin’s New “Healthy Jobs Act” Gives Small Businesses Tax Credit for Wellness Programs and Creates Job Opportunities for Health and Wellness Professionals

hwmThe “Healthy Jobs Act” passed both the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate unanimously this week, which means a tax credit is on the way for small businesses that offer workplace wellness programs. It also means job opportunities are on the way for health and wellness professionals. The Milwaukee Business News notes that under the bill, businesses with 50 or fewer employees that create health and wellness programs would be eligible for a grant equal to 30 percent of the cost of implementing the program.

Theresa Islo, program manager for the University of Wisconsin’s online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management, says she is pleased to see state leaders acknowledging the importance of healthy employees. She says the bill will not only encourage businesses to implement wellness programs, but it will create job opportunities for professionals trained in health and wellness management. [Read more…]

UW Health and Wellness Management Advisory Board Discusses Importance of Wellness Programs

The program advisory board for the University of Wisconsin online Bachelor of Health and Wellness Management met on March 6, 2014. Members of this board help ensure the bachelor program is up-to-date with current trends. Our staff spoke with some advisory board members about why they felt compelled to join the board, how health and wellness programs can impact the workplace, and what they want students to know about the UW online Bachelor of Health and Wellness Management program.

New Manager for UW Health and Wellness Management Program Draws on Experience to Encourage Student Success

686
Theresa Islo – Program Manager, UW Health and Wellness Management Program

The only thing that stays the same is change. As Theresa Islo takes over as the new manager for the University of Wisconsin’s online Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Management program, she can testify to the truth behind this age-old statement – especially after spending nearly two decades in the trenches of the rapidly evolving healthcare industry. She has seen firsthand the impact changes within the health and wellness management fields have had on growth and career opportunities, as employers look to address healthcare costs and employee needs.

“I started out in the field of employee benefits in the early 90s when healthcare costs were skyrocketing,” Islo says. “Employers were looking to better manage the cost of healthcare. I became involved in worksite wellness as a consultant in order to better serve my clients.” [Read more…]