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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Honors 2019 Recipients of the Governor’s Wellness Award

Gov. Ricketts (podium), DHHS CEO Dannette R. Smith (left of Governor), and winners of the 2019 Governor’s Wellness Award at today’s ceremony.

Gov. Ricketts (podium), DHHS CEO Dannette R. Smith (left of Governor), and 

winners of the 2019 Governor’s Wellness Award at today’s ceremony.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced this year’s recipients of the Governor’s Wellness Award.  A total of 42 Nebraska organizations representing 24 communities are being honored for offering evidence-based worksite wellness programs for their teammates.

“The Governor’s Wellness Award recognizes businesses that have planted and nurtured a culture of wellness within their organizations,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “I applaud these employers for implementing innovative and effective worksite wellness programs.  Their efforts help grow a healthier population in Nebraska.”

In the past year, award recipients increased the percentage of people meeting Surgeon General Guidelines for Physical Activity by more than 11%, reduced tobacco use by 19%, and increased those meeting fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines by 4%.  These organizations have also done great work to help their teammates manage stress and to improve their overall culture of wellness.

“Worksite wellness provides an opportunity for employees to invest in their own health and experience the benefits of living healthier lives.  Embracing a healthy and active lifestyle can help reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and certain types of cancer,” said Dannette R. Smith, DHHS CEO.

This year marks the 12th year recognizing businesses that dedicate leadership, resources, and time to wellness efforts in the workplace.  Each applicant must provide information in the areas of leadership, data collection, intervention strategies, policy/environment support, and evaluation of outcomes.

The Governor’s Wellness Award has three categories:

  • The Sower Award recognizes workplaces that have established quality wellness programs.
  • The Grower Award honors businesses and organizations demonstrating significant improvement in employee health behaviors.
  • The Harvester award, which is new this year, recognizes businesses that are experiencing documented value and return on investment.

Including this year’s winners, 466 total awards have been distributed across the state.  A list of this year’s award winners is available here.

Awards will be presented at three official award ceremonies during the coming months.  The award ceremonies will be held in Gering on September 12, Omaha on October 8, and York on October 16.

Nebraska employers can apply for the Governor’s Wellness Award online by clicking here.  Awards are presented annually and are good for three years.

For employers interested in starting a wellness program or enhancing an existing one, contact DHHS at 402-471-0709.  

Watch video of this year’s wellness awards ceremony by clicking here.