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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Honors 2020 Recipients of the Governor’s Wellness Award

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1970

Leah Bucco-White, DHHS, 402-471-9356


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Honors 2020 Recipients of the Governor’s Wellness Award


Gov. Ricketts (far right) and Dr. Gary Anthone (far left) with representatives of wellness

award-winning organizations (from left to right): Joslynne Stauss (Waverly School District),

Nichole Hall (ESU #6), and Jared Carlson (Assurity Life Insurance Company).


A list of 2020 Governor’s Wellness award winners can be found here.


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 14 Nebraska organizations representing 13 communities are being honored for offering evidence-based worksite wellness programs.


“Regular exercise and healthy nutrition have benefits for both our physical and mental well-being,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “The companies honored today have done exemplary work to encourage their teammates to commit to a healthy lifestyle.  These are exciting results, and I encourage all Nebraskans to take time to assess their own wellness so we can grow a happier and healthier Nebraska.”


In the past year, award recipients have worked on stress, gratitude, and mindfulness initiatives; offered nutritious food access through things like onsite meal prep and Community Supported Agriculture farm-share deliveries; covered registration fees for employees to participate in local community walks and runs; provided tobacco cessation support; and given tips for better sleep.


“Worksite wellness programs provide opportunity and motivation for Nebraskans to achieve a healthier lifestyle and bring coworkers together as they share their wellness journeys.  There are numerous benefits including helping reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and certain types of cancer,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS.


The Governor’s Wellness Award began in 2008, making this the 13th year it has recognized 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 was added last year, recognizes businesses that are experiencing documented value and return on investment.


Including this year’s winners, 480 total awards have been distributed across the state.  Awards will be presented at one of four virtual award ceremonies happening in September and October. 


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


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.