Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
November 19, 1999

P&S, Merit staff are biggest users of wellness program

by Anne Krapfl
Merit and P&S employees are the highest users of Iowa State's fledgling employee wellness program, according to its coordinator Lauri Dusselier. Faculty are using the program in much lower numbers, she noted, and women are higher users than men.

Dusselier summarized use of the program in its first full year during the Nov. 2 meeting of the Professional and Scientific Council. June 30, 2000, marks the end of the three-year pilot program; next month Dusselier will submit a proposal to continue the program. (Funding for the program started in July 1997 and the program was running in August 1998.)

"Interest in the program has been great," she said. "Most of what we've been able to do so far has to do with awareness and education.

"To make real changes, we need to do intervention, and that's a longer-term process," she said.

Nearly 400 employees have filled out a personal wellness profile that assesses all areas of wellness (social, emotional, spiritual, physical, mental and occupational). Of these:

More than 1,600 employees have participated in presentations offered by a staff member from the wellness program, Dusselier said. These included university-wide workshops and specific discussions requested by employees for their work units.

Family history of heart disease or cancer, being overweight, back pain and a high-stress life were the most common concerns identified by ISU employees in a spring 1998 survey, Dusselier said. These also are some of the areas she will focus on in her wellness program proposal.

The goals of the wellness program are healthier employees, resulting in health care cost savings to the university, increased productivity and higher job satisfaction, she said.

Following are highlights of other council business.

The council's next meeting begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room.

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