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Rowan County listed among nation’s healthiest workplaces

SALISBURY — Rowan County on Tuesday became one of the healthiest 100 workplaces in America, according to an awards program powered by Springbuk.

Rowan County was selected as the 38th healthiest workplace in the country out of a national pool of applicants from all regions, size categories, and industries. Rowan County was listed among nationally recognized companies such as Delta Air Lines, American Express and Syngenta.

The list of 100 healthiest workplaces was compiled by Springbuk, an intelligence company that analyzed data compiled on a regional basis. Rowan County landed on the top-100 list after being recognized in July by the Charlotte Business Journal as the No. 1 Healthiest Employer of the Greater Charlotte Area in its size category.

“We’re breaking barriers and moving the needle when it comes to health and wellness in our community and throughout the United States” said Aldrea Speight, human resources analyst for Rowan County. “It really is a great accomplishment when you see all of the different organizations that were highlighted.”

Speight said this was the second year that Rowan County applied for this award. In 2019, Rowan County was ranked No. 6 in the greater Charlotte region but did not crack the top-100 nationally. 

The recognition is largely a product of Rowan County’s employee Health and Wellness Program. Started several decades ago, the program has evolved over the years to provide a variety of services to county employees, including health screenings, exercise programs and financial advising.

The Health and Wellness Program is run by the Department of Human Resources and is led by a committee of about 20 employees from various county departments. Speight serves as co-chair of the committee alongside public health education specialist Amy Smith.

“Rowan County is fortunate to have some of the best human resources employees in America and that’s why we continue to get recognized locally and across the country,” County Manager Aaron Church said in a news release.

Un the last several years, Rowan County has implemented employee wellness initiatives such as providing Fitbit trackers to county employees, biometric screenings, a nurse practitioner clinic, an employee assistance program, a diabetes management program and various wellness program challenges.

Kelly Natoli, human resources director, said that the Health and Wellness Program keeps employees happy and healthy.

“When people are healthier, they’re here more, there’s less absenteeism, they’re more productive when they’re here,” Natoli said. “I think all of that leads to a better working environment.”

Speight said that being awarded as one of the country’s 100 healthiest workplaces is a big honor, but she enjoys hearing personal stories about how the program has impacted employees.

“Through our mobile mammogram program that we host with Novant, we had an employee find out she had breast cancer through that clinic at a young age and she was able to fight it,” Speight said. “People have found out that they’ve had diabetes through our biometric screening and have then been able to communicate directly with our diabetes management program and start day one on making improvements to our health.”

As a working mother, Speight said she often takes advantage of the services herself.

“Being able to utilize things like the nurse and practitioner clinic during working hours, having something where I don’t have to take off work or miss work and things of that nature has been a huge benefit for a lot of employees,” Speight said. 

The Health and Wellness Program is funded through the county’s yearly budget.

“The commissioners have continued to fund the wellness program to keep health insurance costs conservative and manageable while providing continued opportunities for wellness to our dedicated employees,” Chairman Greg Edds said in a news release. “We are honored to be ranked in the top 100 employers in America and we look forward to being ranked No. 1 in the future.”

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