I was lucky. Incredibly lucky. Last summer, I was offered a job with The Wellbeing Partners, an organization whom I admired and an organization whom, in my eyes, has incredible potential to change the landscape of wellbeing in the communities it serves. My aim upon starting was to do my part to bridge the good work between worksite wellness initiatives and community health collaboration to assist in creating the most impact for the Greater Omaha and Des Moines Metros. I wasn’t sure how it was going to all play out, but I did know that the leadership at The Wellbeing Partners was incredibly strong and that the Board was very supportive of the mission and the direction the organization was headed. I was excited to bring my perspective to the team.
The Wellbeing Partners’ course has been charted. The organization is well on its way to bring together the great work of our legacy organizations – bridging workplace wellbeing and community health. After all, they are two sides of the same coin. Our workplaces are made of the community, and our community makes up the workplace.
While the CDC recommends that school age children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, it’s estimated that only 25% of children actually do. This winter, with the cold weather, the cancelation of many indoor sports opportunities, and the increase of screen usage for virtual learners, we knew it was vitally important to help advocate for students to have more opportunities for physical activity during their school day. To address this, The Wellbeing Partners teamed up with two of our OPS school partners, Skinner Magnet Center and Howard Kennedy Elementary for a “Walk & Roll Challenge”.
When I was in third grade, a classmate’s father died of suicide. It was the first time I had ever heard that word. While explaining what it meant to me, my mother, who did not at the time fully understand mental illness, told me that it was a selfish thing for him to do. I couldn’t fathom why a father would choose to leave his family like that—I didn’t fully understand mental illness either.
The global pandemic is bringing to light the importance of worksite health promotion for the health and wellbeing of your employees. The virus does not discriminate based on health status. Although living a healthy lifestyle will not prevent someone from contracting the virus, it may prevent, treat or reverse various chronic conditions that increase the risk for severe illness or death from the virus. It is estimated that up to 80% of chronic conditions can be prevented, treated, and/or reversed by lifestyle management (CDC).
“I need help thinking of things that kids can do at recess. They can’t use the playground. They can’t share toys. They can’t touch each other or be within six feet of each other. How can I help them remain physically active and enjoy their recess time?”
This Thursday, The Wellbeing Partners and national partner Public Good Project, along with the Douglas, Sarpy/Cass and Pottawattamie County Health Departments, and more than 150 local collaborators, will launch a regional campaign to normalize mental health and get people talking about their mental health stories, journeys, and experiences. We believe that each of us has a lot in common. As we share stories of grief, loss, resilience, triumph, acceptance, disappointment, longing to be connected - and really any feeling in between, we connect more closely with each other.
As the grey van approached the food pickup line I could see the sliding door open. Expecting the usual interior views of another normal drop-off, what I wasn’t ready for was the expression of pure joy on the nine-year-old boy’s face in the back seat as I loaded the fresh produce into their van. I’m pretty sure I saw his back molars as the smile stretched across his face.
The Wellbeing Partners Youth Wellness Coordinator, Claire Brown, spoke with Cecelia Jenkins of local news station WOWT about work surrounding Youth Wellness as schools prepare to welcome students back in the fall. Here is the full interview - learn about the many projects The Wellbeing Partners has coming up to support teachers and others who serve youth in our community as we "Return to Learn" this fall.
The Health + Housing pilot was created by a multisectoral collaboration to ensure healthier homes for more Douglas County residents in Omaha Housing Authority (OHA) single housing units. The pilot’s inspection process improvement program focused on training OHA’s home inspectors and Family Support Services staff in the use of a healthy home assessment tool developed by Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance (OHKA).