Wellness Champion Spotlight

Nicole Venteris has initiated a number of creative efforts to cultivate a culture of wellness within her department. This year, Nicole has organized healthy snack days to motivate her WashU Moves team, hosted a focus group to provide feedback on Wellness Connection strategy, and regularly updates a wellness bulletin board.

At the conclusion of the recent WashU Moves Invitational, Nicole threw a party with a popcorn & toppings buffet, accompanied by a variety of sparkling water. This type of informal event is a fun way for colleagues to stop in and socialize while learning about wellness programming. Nicole uses these events as an opportunity to strike up conversations about the Wellness Connection program, answer questions, and ask for suggestions and feedback on employee wellness initiatives. Nicole also posted a dedicated dry erase board in the break room area, where she posts information about activity challenges, upcoming events, healthy recipes, and other notes.

Making the wellness environment inclusive is key to gaining participation, says Venteris. Having mini celebrations is fun way to keep the momentum going but it takes some buy in from leadership, a little time and energy. “I think one of the key tasks that a wellness champion can tackle is to quickly convey wellness information to colleagues. We work in a busy office so I try to distill the information into its simplest format, highlighting a few key points and then directing my co-workers back to me with questions.”