Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 6 (September/October 2016)

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The Power of Wellness Committee - Setting Up Your Organization for Success

Every Organization should have a Wellness Committee!
A wellness committee plays a vital role in success of your health promotion programming and organizational culture of wellness. Why? Because it represents the opinions, thoughts, and ideas of your staff and people you support and can bridge gaps within the community.

A Wellness Committee...

  • Serves as the leader/champion for wellness activities at your organization.
  • Represents and encourages participation of people with disabilities and employees from all organizational levels.
  • Communicates to employees and people with I/DD information about known health risks and the value of health promotion.
  • Generates ideas and objectives, and sets wellness program goals.
  • Assists with planning, coordinating, and promoting your wellness initiatives and programs.
  • Advocates for organizational policies and environments that support improved health.
  • Coordinates the monitoring and evaluation of the wellness activities/programs offered to people with I/DD and employees.
  • Provides feedback regarding wellness initiative successes and barriers
  • Identifies wellness resources within the community that enhance wellness efforts of programming.

Who should be on your Wellness Committee?
Members should come from different departments within your organization including management and support staff, self-advocates, family members, board members, and volunteers from community. The broader the scope of your committee members, the more powerful the impact and support your growing wellness culture will receive.

Number of Committee Members—Have between four and twelve committee members, although this number may depend on the size of your organization. Start small and then grow!

Choose a Wellness Committee Lead - The person who will chair your wellness committee. Their job function doesn’t have to be health-related, but they should have a passion for wellness.

Supervisor Approval—All committee members should have their immediate supervisor’s support for the time and work they dedicate to the wellness committee.

Recruit Committee Members - Ask potential members who value the importance of health promotion and have a personal interest in wellness. Being a part of the committee should be positioned as an opportunity that will help members develop their professional skills.

USEFUL TIP: Structuring formal meetings may be sometimes challenging but it is the best way ensure the effectiveness of a wellness committee. Some organizations have been successful with e-mail meetings or even phone or video conferencing to accommodate busy schedules.

October is the National Disability Employment Awareness Month

This month we are celebrating the contributions of employees with disabilities and building community awareness on the value of a diverse workforce. This year’s theme, #InclusionWorks, highlights the unique skills and talents each of us have to offer. Health is an important factor in employability, our level of health affects our levels of ability and independence. When asked about their health, the healthier individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities report*, the more likely they are to be employed. So this month remind yourself and others to work hard to be healthy and be healthy so you can work hard! 
 
For more information check out Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), U.S. Department of Labor website. 

*Human Services Research Institute and National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. (2015). Consumer outcomes: Final report. 2013- 2014 NCI adult consumer survey data. 

Events

WEBINAR - January 19, 2017 (2pm-3pm CST)
Healthy Relationships and Healthy Sexuality for People with Developmental Disability

WEBINAR - February 16, 2017 (2pm-3pm CST)
Aging and Dementia Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities

WEBINAR - March 16, 2017 (2pm-3pm CST)
Transition of Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities to Adult-Systems of Care

WEBINAR - April 20, 2017 (2pm-3pm CST)
Social Support Networks of Aging Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

Share with us!
Do you have a story or a tip you would like to share? Do you have an idea for the next Newsletter? Email us at info@healthmattersprogram.org