Minnesota Hospital Association


March 08, 2017

Improving community health and well-being through employer engagement

As an organization focused on community health, reaching out to employers is one way for Winona Health to increase awareness of issues that impact people’s health and well-being. A significant portion of many people’s day is spent in the workplace. What happens at work can ultimately play an important part in protecting and improving health and well-being.

Breakfast with the Experts was developed by Winona Health’s Occupational Health team in 2009. Breakfast with the Experts was designed for area business leaders and human resources professionals to help them stay current on trends and issues related to employee safety, health and wellness. 

Winona Health’s Breakfast with the Experts is held quarterly at no charge. Because the program is offered from 7:30 to 9 a.m., business professionals can often fit it into their workday. Events typically draw more than 50 attendees and feedback is consistently positive.

“Our goal is to help employers understand and be better prepared to accommodate their workforce and keep all employees safe and injury-free,” said Cathy Johnson, RN, a Winona Health Occupational Health nurse who was instrumental in developing the program.

Since 2009, Winona Health has hosted 23 Breakfast with the Experts events, investing more than $55,000 and reaching over 1,200 attendees. Topics covered have included preventing back injuries, GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals adopted by OSHA), work conditioning, hearing protection, air quality issues, aging in the workplace, fall/accident prevention, cold weather considerations and preventing violence in the workplace.

Attendees have responded favorably to the sessions. 

“We ask for feedback and future topic suggestions at each program to ensure we’re providing information that is beneficial to employers and, ultimately, their employees,” said Nicole Schossow, community relations coordinator at Winona Health. “We receive such positive comments about the program, and the number of attendees reflects that this community benefit investment is valuable and that Winona-area employers care about their employees’ health and well-being.”