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Organizational Wellness Director Receives Health Innovator Award

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
May 5, 2010

Nancy Puglisi has received a Health Innovator Award from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the New Hampshire Business Review for her efforts to bring and increase wellness programs at USNH’s four campuses. Puglisi, director of organizational wellness for USNH, was presented with the award April 26.

“It’s exciting,” Puglisi says. “You put a number of years into your work and it’s wonderful for people to see the value. It’s not just getting the award; it’s seeing the changes happening.”

The changes she refers to have sprung from Healthy Returns, a program aimed at helping employees make positive life choices and create realistic health goals. Twice a year, Healthy Returns offers screenings to check blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and BMI or body mass index. Coaching is offered by nurses and health practitioners.

“We’d been doing blood pressure clinics, cholesterol clinics for years but we were doing them separately,” Puglisi says. “Harvard Pilgrim had a program that allowed us to bring it all under one roof. More importantly, people can get coaching right then and there.”

Participants can meet twice a year with their coach and can talk on the phone to a trained coach any time, she says, stressing that support is an important element in maintaining healthy goals.

The Health Innovator Award—the first given---recognizes Puglisi’s efforts in creating her own form of Healthy Returns; when she first began working with Harvard Pilgrim to adopt their program, they told her she had one of the most comprehensive wellness programs they had ever seen.

“We’ve been working a long time on this. It’s nice to have all the campuses engaged,” Puglisi says. “Every campus now has a wellness program—people understand the importance. It’s wonderful to have been a part of the birthing of this thing.”

The Health Innovator Award will be given quarterly. Puglisi’s plaque reads, in part, “Your innovative ideas and ongoing focus on employee wellbeing is deserving of this distinction.”

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