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MIIA is a Membership Service of the Massachusetts

MIIA Presents Wellness and Risk Management Awards

Published in News on by Stephen Batchelder, MIIA Risk Management Director and Wendy Gammons, MIIA Wellness Manager

During its Annual Meeting in Boston on Jan. 19, MIIA presented 10 awards for dedication and commitment to employee wellness and risk management. The MIIA meeting was held in conjunction with the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show.

2019 Wellness Awards

MIIA presented four awards to member communities in recognition of their efforts to improve employee health and promote a culture of wellness in the workplace.

Best Wellness Program for a Newcomer – Scituate: The town of Scituate has demonstrated a high level of engagement in just two years. Key elements of the town’s success include leadership support, a cohesive and representative wellness committee, the implementation of a wide variety of popular wellness activities, and effective communication channels and program evaluation.

Programs offered last year include a Fitbit Walking Challenge against other towns (which they won), outdoor yoga, stretch and strength(for all employees as well as a special class for public works employees), and many others. Scituate also has participants in MIIA’s Health Literacy program, Quizzify, and monthly self-directed activities.

Best Wellness Champions – Woburn: Woburn’s Human Resources director, Elaine Pruyne, and Human Resources assistant, Karen Crawford, are committed to supporting the wellness program for the city’s employees. They lead by example, participating in almost every MIIA Wellness program, including on-site, online and self-directed programs. Pruyne works with Mayor Scott Galvin and department supervisors to gain support for programs such as the MIIA tailgate trainings for public safety and the lunchtime walks with the mayor. Pruyne and Crawford are proactive and timely in communicating wellness initiatives to all departments.

Best Wellness Champion – Pittsfield: Personnel Director Mike Taylor is an outstanding wellness advocate, committed to the well-being of employees and their family members. He established an active Wellness Committee, created a wellness policy for the city, and played a key role in creating the on-site wellness center at City Hall.

Taylor promotes all the programs, communicates wellness messages, attends on-site programs, brings healthy snacks to wellness committee meetings, and works out at the wellness center.

Best Progress in a Wellness Program – Lincoln: The town of Lincoln achieved significant participation in its wellness programs during 2018. The town’s success was in part accomplished by adding diversity to its programming to meet the varied needs and interests of all departments, encouraging input from employees, and promoting programs to employees. Lincoln has also made significant progress in the way it launches, promotes and executes on-site and online employee wellness initiatives.

2019 Risk Management Awards

MIIA’s annual Risk Management Awards recognize excellence and sustained commitment to risk management throughout a member community. In recognition of successful efforts to control municipal costs, enhance employee safety, and reduce insurance claims, MIIA presented risk management awards to the following communities:

Chesterfield-Goshen Regional School District and the Hampshire Regional School District: This partnership demonstrates a highly collaborative approach to student, teacher and employee safety. The two school districts work together through their safety committee meetings, where they set priorities, ask questions, and solve problems with creative thinking and strong communication. Both school districts have significantly increased their participation in the MIIA Rewards program and are actively developing a training matrix and policy review to achieve compliance with the upcoming implementation of enhanced OSHA regulations, effective in February.

Foxborough: The town of Foxborough has a progressive approach to its workers’ compensation claims and the well-being of its employees. Management holds quarterly safety committee meetings with department heads in attendance. The Department of Public Works, for example, optimizes the resources offered by the MIIA Rewards program, and the exposure of workers’ compensation claims has been significantly reduced.

Because of Foxborough’s dedication to the important workers’ compensation initiative of stay-at-work/return-to-work, the employees remain motivated to return to work on modified duty as soon as medically possible.

Wellesley: The town of Wellesley continues to demonstrate results-driven efforts in risk management. Leadership holds monthly safety meetings, where staff work together to identify key loss areas and trends. Based on this information, the town develops forward-thinking safety programs and training. A recent example of this includes the development of a building-specific loss prevention and emergency response plan, designed to prevent losses whenever possible and to effectively mitigate costs when losses cannot be prevented. Wellesley has shared this plan for all MIIA members to use.

The town used its MIIA grant to focus on the expanded use of infrared technology cameras as part of its Property Preventative Maintenance program.

Public Works Utilities Facilities Roundtable of Barnstable County: The “DPW and Public Utilities Facilities Roundtable of Barnstable County” was created to combine neighboring forces to reach collective safety and health goals. Experienced municipal managers work together as a team to enhance workplace safety in public works and public utility departments. Many agencies at the state level are regarding this approach as innovative and progressive.

The following MIIA members participate at these meetings: Barnstable County, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Falmouth, Harwich, Provincetown, and Yarmouth.

Reading: The town of Reading continues to deploy a comprehensive and innovative safety and risk management program. The leadership team serves as a model of how leaders can collaborate to oversee a strong safety infrastructure and culture in conjunction with aggressive maintenance protocols.

The town routinely champions and leads safety committees, MIIA Rewards, training, and grant use, and has developed and hosted training sessions in conjunction with MIIA that have been open to other municipalities. The popular Hot Works permit class is a recent example.

West Boylston: The town of West Boylston exemplifies a strong commitment to excellence, with a well-developed safety committee with representatives from each department, and works collaboratively to find solutions to risk exposures.

The town investigates losses and adapts and changes processes to avoid future losses. One example involved a large workers’ compensation loss involving an office chair collapse. The town inspected its remaining chair inventory and developed a life expectancy standard for office equipment, along with a proactive replacement schedule, and chairs are now part of routine building inspections.

“We are inspired by the hard work our member communities have put into their risk management and employee health and wellness initiatives,” said Stan Corcoran, MIIA’s executive vice president. “We look forward to working with all of our municipal partners to help them achieve their goals in the coming year.”



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