VanAire wins Blue Cross’ Win by Losing Challenge

Kelly Hall

| 3 min read

VanAire Inc. may be busy specializing in Engineered Valve Automation Hardware, but that doesn’t mean its employees don’t take the time to keep themselves healthy. Thanks to VanAire’s commitment to building a healthy community, it wouldn’t be odd to find the Gladstone-based company competing in healthy chili cook-offs and softball leagues Two years ago, VanAire Inc. took the pledge to stay healthy when it created a wellness committee for employees and management. Over the past two years, this committee has focused on the staff and its family to successfully build a culture of wellness. This past year, VanAire Inc. took another challenge when it signed up for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Win by Losing Challenge. The 39-member team collectively lost 557 pounds over the nine-week challenge to take first place in the 30-59 employees category. Now, they have t-shirts, a Win by Losing trophy and bragging rights to commemorate the progress that has been made. “VanAire, as a company, is supporting you, and I know your families will support you too,” said Jim Howard, VanAire wellness team member, in a newsletter to employees. “If you set a goal and work hard, you can make a positive change in your health.” Part of the Win by Losing challenge encourages employees to “Know Their Numbers,” which includes knowing body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol to keep the heart safe from cardiovascular disease. VanAire Inc. rewards employees for participating in biometric screening events, taking health assessments and engaging with their primary care physician for their annual physicals. The committee has also integrated many local community resources into their wellness offerings to encourage more than just losing weight: proper hand hygiene from the Public Health Department, motorcycle safety classes through Northern Michigan University and stretching techniques demonstrated by the YMCA for both production personnel (“standers”) and employees with desk jobs (“sitters”). The VanAire Inc. team may have won this round, but they aren’t taking any time off. The employees can now be found perfecting healthy BBQ recipes for its upcoming summer cook-off. With as much effort as VanAire Inc. has put in, it’s sure to be a good time. Want your company to participate in the Win by Losing challenge? Follow this link and appoint a team representative to submit the following information:
  • Company name
  • Number of participating employees
  • Group starting weight total
Once the competition has started, the representative will be responsible for reporting the grand total amount of weight lost for that week by 5 p.m. every Friday. Each week the leader board will be updated on the website to reflect who has taken the lead in the respective categories. A winner is selected in each category based on the total percentage of weight loss based on the number of participants and the number of pounds lost. Good luck!
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association