The State of Wellness Awards

The State of Wellness Awards will recognize individuals and organizations that play a significant role in improving and supporting the health and wellness of Minnesotans and their communities. The awards are separated into categories that recognize the best and brightest in business, community, education and government. There will be special categories for winners of the BizicallyFIT 2012 Health Challenge, cross-sector collaboration and lifetime achievement.

Approximately 75 percent of healthcare costs stem from preventable chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. In the fight to combat these diseases and their spiraling costs, forward-thinking businesses and communities are engaging in comprehensive prevention plans to shrink health costs and boost productivity in the workplace. Research shows that for every $1 invested in worksite wellness, companies average a $3.50 savings through reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs.

These awards will achieve much more than mere recognition of successful programs. We will use the success story narratives of award winners to inspire and motivate others to follow their lead.


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Nominations for 2012 State of Wellness Awards

Do you know an organization or community that should win a State of Wellness award? Nominate them now.

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Video: Alliance President on Wellness as a Business Strategy

Video: see Tom Mason's remarks to town hall attendees

Tom Mason, President of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota

The search for a definitive actuarial link between worksite wellness programs and reduced insurance risk may well emerge from HealthLead™, a rigorous new wellness accreditation program that last year was alpha-tested by Target.

On April 30, 2012 more than 200 leaders in business, academia and local government gathered for a panel discussion among national experts in workplace health promotion moderated by Senator Amy Klobuchar. Hosted by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota at Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis, the event highlighted HealthLead™ accreditation – the emerging standard in workplace health promotion – and Target’s award-winning culture of well-being.

The Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota is a group of Minnesota employers joined together to create fun, engaging and informative events and competitions to help Minnesotans get and stay healthy. Members of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota are united in the common belief that when we work together and provide the right tools for prevention, we can help Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives.

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Video: Target Advances Culture of Well-being With HealthLead™ Accreditation

The search for a definitive actuarial link between worksite wellness programs and reduced insurance risk may well emerge from HealthLead™, a rigorous new wellness accreditation program that last year was alpha-tested by Target. Select the videos below to hear remarks and answers from national experts on workplace health and well-being. This video was recorded when these experts convened on April 30, 2012 in an auditorium at Target’s national headquarters in Minneapolis with an audience of more than 200 leaders in business, public health and academia. Watch the town hall event on


An overview of the event:


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Connexus Energy Wellness Program Helps Team Rank First in Alliance-Sponsored Health Challenge

The Biggest Winners team poses with the Connexus Energy logo. From back left: Janelle Albrecht, Janis Anderson, Tammy Ferguson, Mike Rajala, Jennifer Sweeney, Kathy Zingler, Leone' Sweeney, Liz Daker and Brian Lambertz.

Employees of Ramsey-area Connexus Energy earn first place in Exercise Minutes category of BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge

With support from their company’s top leadership, a team of coworkers from Ramsey-based Connexus Energy – the “Biggest Winners” — took the top spot in exercise minutes, in the just-concluded BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge, sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. The team beat our more than 1,600 teams and more than 10,000 participants throughout the state.

Eighty-seven of the energy cooperative’s 210 employees joined the statewide health challenge, many of them for the second year in a row following last year’s Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge. Together, the Connexus Energy teams exercised 293,679 minutes and walked 46,205,318 steps over the course of the 12-week Challenge, an average of 40 minutes and 7,535 steps per person per day.

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Register today! Workplace Wellness Workshops June 19 – 21

Join other small- and medium-sized businesses for a regional workshop specifically designed for employers seeking the latest best practices in workplace wellness. Experts from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health will  discuss how to:

  • Gain stronger leadership support for a policy, systems and environmental change approach to workplace wellness
  • Develop a tobacco-free workplace
  • Increase the amount of healthy foods available at the work site
  • Create opportunities to offer physical activity during the work day

The events are sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health and will be held in three locations throughout Minnesota:

  • Tuesday, June 19 in Fergus Falls
  • Wednesday, June 20 in Otsego
  • Thursday, June 21 in Mankato

Registration will remain open past today’s deadline, please register as soon as possible at:


BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Plymouth Woman Wins Trip To Biggest Loser Resort

In the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota’s 12-week BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge, 10,000 Minnesotans achieved healthier lifestyles, but Armaity Bilimoria, 38, of Plymouth won a Grand Prize Drawing for one free week at a Biggest Loser Resort fitness camp.

Armaity was selected in a random drawing for a free seven-day stay at a Biggest Loser Resort in California, New York or Utah. She plans to use this Biggest Loser Resort experience to lose 25 pounds before a trip to see her childhood classmates in her hometown of Mumbai, India this December.

“Winning this trip has been the best motivation to get back to a healthier weight,” says Armaity. “I’d like to make the most of my experience at Biggest Loser Resort – to form a sustainable fitness plan that will help me reach my long-term goals after I come home from the Resort.”

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BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge: Northern Minnesota Furnace Manufacturer wins in Pedometer Steps

Dream Team members, listed from back left: Madeline Waage, Derick Converse, Rob Mickelson, Eric Etherington, David McDonald, Keith Wheeler, Alietia Nygaard, Sean Sorteberg (team members not pictured: Shannon Converse, Alicia Spilde)

Employees teamed up to compete in statewide BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge with support from Central Boiler’s workplace wellness program.

The recent BizicallyFIT™ 2012 Health Challenge lit a fire under Alietia Nygaard and her colleagues at Central Boiler in Greenbush, Minnesota. Nygaard’s 11-member team, called “Alietia’s Dream Team,” won first place in the Pedometer Steps division of the 2012 Health Challenge with a team average of 17,030 steps per day over the 12-week competition, beating 10,000 other participants on more than 1,600 other teams.

Nygaard and her team were among 88 individuals who joined the Challenge with coworkers from Central Boiler, an outdoor wood furnace manufacturer with more than 200 employees in Greenbush, Minnesota. To encourage 2012 Health Challenge participants, Central Boiler’s growing workplace wellness program spread the word and offered an intra-company leaderboard for participating teams. Each week, Central Boiler’s teams received an email that ranked each team from first to last in each category.

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Participants Shed More Than 20,000 Pounds in Alliance-Sponsored Health Challenge

Hennepin County, Connexus Energy and Central Boiler win first place in competition’s Weight Loss, Steps and Exercise categories


Minnesota employers and community organizations geared up for summer with the BizicallyFIT 2012 Health Challenge and earned incredible healthy lifestyle results.  Ten thousand Minnesotans from every corner of the state joined together with coworkers, friends and family to take extra steps, exercise more and drop some extra pounds, competing for online rankings and bragging rights. Together they lost 20,409 pounds, walked 1,610,427,079 steps and exercised 13,176,822 minutes. One lucky participant won the grand prize drawing, a free one-week stay at a Biggest Loser Resort.

“We’re very happy about the successes of Minnesotans who took time to engage in the BizicallyFIT 2012 Health Challenge,” says Tom Mason, president of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. “It’s amazing how effective friendly competition and support from employers, coworkers, friends and family can in motivating people to adopt and maintain healthier habits.”

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