Get up to $1,000 to support wellness in your department

Following last year’s success, the City’s Wellness Committee is offering an opportunity for departments to apply for the 2017 wellness grants to continue raising engagement in wellness activities. Departments will be able to apply for grants up to $1,000 for products or services that promote the health and wellness of employees. In 2016, the Wellness Committee offered 26 grants totaling approximately $23,000 to 19 departments and divisions for staff-driven wellness initiatives. Watch for more information in the May 31 Minneapolis Matters and CityTalk on how to apply for the 2017 Wellness Committee grants.

Grantees last year reported widespread interest and participation in their initiatives. Here are a four testimonials from folks who were awarded grants last year:

Healthy eating station

Wellness Fruit Table

The Transportation Division decided to invest their $1,000 grant in a healthy eating station for the staff in the office. Greg Guerrino secured a vendor (Kowalski’s at 2440 Hennepin Ave.) to provide the office with 20 pounds of mixed fruit every Monday. The department purchased a fruit bowl and a small cabinet and moved the water dispenser next to the new cabinet to promote drinking more water. Now, employees have a choice of fresh fruit for a snack instead of heading to the vending machines. The program is so successful that the fruit is gone within minutes of being set out and staff has begun to contribute personal funds to prolong the program. Greg is willing to help any department or division set up a relationship with their vendor to provide a similar setup in their office as part of a 2017 grant award.

Fitness equipment

Weights_FIT_5.3.17

MPD Fit is an exercise group open to all City employees during their lunch break (noon-1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). This group has actively met every week for the past five years. The core group of attendees has grown stronger physically, and the grant helped purchase additional dumbbells, jump ropes and other equipment to supplement its original supply. In addition, the group purchased a dumbbell cart to better organize storage and help safely transport the weights. The new equipment allows employees at all fitness levels to participate, offering more flexibility to attendees and making it easier for new attendees to find the correct equipment for their level of expertise. The equipment increased the program options, introduced new routines and will be used for years to come. For more information about MPD Fit, contact Dan Boody.

Yoga and mindfulness classes

This past fall, staff from Access Your Yoga approached the Minneapolis Police Department about mindfulness training as a way to promote physical and mental well-being for the officers. The program is designed to provide simple stress management tools. Mindfulness-based stress reduction has been the subject of hundreds of studies showing that yoga and simple meditation practices help reduce stress, pain, anxiety and depression. These tools enable officers, who conduct critical work under great stress, to improve performance, enhance interactions with the populations they serve, and increase safety. The wellness grant helped fund a portion of this valuable program. Access Your Yoga was able to match this grant.

The class is taught once a week and lasts for 30 minutes. According to 5th Precinct Police Inspector Kathy Waite, “Access Your Yoga has done an exceptional job working with the staff at the 5th Precinct. Rookies as well as senior officers regularly attend the class. We look forward to expanding the program so other shifts may also share in this opportunity. If you attend just one class, I guarantee you will return!”

Full spectrum lighting

Human Resources submitted a wellness grant request for full spectrum lamps to help brighten their office area in their main office and several offsite locations as they lack natural light. Full spectrum lamps are energy efficient, cost effective and can simulate the benefit of natural lighting regardless of conditions outside. Also, research shows multiple health benefits to adding full spectrum lighting. Using grant funds, full spectrum lamps purchased are now helping brighten their office areas.

2017 proposals

Wellness grant proposals should be related to one of the following Wellness Committee goals:

Healthy eating

Goal: Ensure healthy foods are available to City employees by increasing nutritious options and reducing unhealthy foods available in the workplace.
Possible grant examples:

Physical activity

Goal: Provide opportunities for City employees to be physically active during and outside of the workday.

Possible grant examples:

Stress management and work-life balance

Goal: Provide City employees with opportunities to learn techniques and strategies for managing stress in the workplace and at home.

Possible grant examples:

Mother-friendly

Goal: Ensure that City buildings and processes are welcoming and helpful to nursing mothers in the workplace.

Possible grant examples:

Winning proposals will include:

Start brainstorming your proposal for a wellness grant now. Look for more details on the program and information on how to apply for a wellness grant later this spring.

 

Published May 3, 2017

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