Be healthy, be safe at Basin Electric

Donna Amundson, director of Sanford Diabetes Care, tests the blood sugar of Whitney Fischer, financial analyst II, during Basin Electric’s Safety & Wellness Fair on Wednesday.

Donna Amundson, Sanford Diabetes Care director, tests the blood sugar of Whitney Fischer, financial analyst II, during Basin Electric’s Safety & Wellness Fair on Wednesday.

Basin Electric cares about the well-being of its employees. That’s why all are encouraged to enjoy the healthy food and engaging activities provided during the remainder of the cooperative’s Safety & Wellness Week, including massage therapy appointments.

Today, weather permitting, the south lawn will be the place to be for a lunch of grilled turkey burgers with baked beans and grapes. The money raised from the lunch’s free-will offering will benefit Bismarck-Mandan’s Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, which helps children reach their potential through professionally supported relationships. Employees have been giving free-will donations all week to different organizations in the community.

Healthy snacks are available in various places for employees.

A safety and wellness fair was held Wednesday morning, where a personal protective equipment specialist was present, along with a North Dakota Safety Council representative, who spoke about the importance of safe driving.

A chiropractor, physical therapist, dental expert, and certified fitness trainer were also available to talk with employees, as well as a vendor who discussed the health benefits of tea. Employees were able to experience acupuncture and mini chair massages, as well as receive blood pressure and blood glucose readings. BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota and Employee Assistance Program representatives presented information on reducing stress and dealing with hypertension. Bismarck Parks & Recreation provided information on activities available in the community throughout the year.

Officer Tim Sass of Bismarck Police performs a demonstration with his K-9 partner, Oscar, on Wednesday, as part of Safety & Wellness Week at Basin Electric.

Officer Tim Sass of the Bismarck Police Department performs a demonstration with his K-9 partner, Oscar, on Wednesday, as part of Safety & Wellness Week.

New vendors at this week’s fair were also present. Four tables were designated for charitable organizations that share Basin Electric’s understanding that wellness is not just about physical health. The Bismarck Lion’s Club, Charles Hall Youth Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Volunteer Caregiver Exchange all provided information to employees about their organizations.

“When you do good things for other people, that’s a component of mental health,” says Teresa Bauer, Basin Electric benefits planning analyst and Wellness Committee member.

Safety & Wellness Week is also about facing challenges.

“We bring in all these different disciplines, and we hope that employees will be empowered by that knowledge to make the small changes that cumulatively create big results,” she says.

Bauer also says this particular week serves as a reminder that wellness should be a constant state of mind.

“One of the things that we’re looking at doing with wellness is making sure that it isn’t just one week out of the year,” she says. “There are things that we hope employees do take home.”

This year’s Safety & Wellness Week Committee included Nicole Perreault, graphic designer and multimedia specialist II; Jen Holen, event planner and charitable giving coordinator; Kelly Cozby, safety and occupational health administrator; Blake Stoner, construction safety coordinator; Lynn Beiswanger, TSM safety coordinator; Dan Job, building superintendent; and Mel Francis, cafeteria coordinator.

The Wellness Committee is in the process of rebuilding. Current members include Teresa Bauer, Nicole Perreault and Lynn Beiswanger. The more healthy minds Basin Electric can put together, the better.

“We’re looking for other employees that have a passion for wellness and safety,” Bauer says. “We want the committee to be diverse enough so that when we do need cooperative resources to make something happen, like this event, we’re able to do that.”

For questions or more information on how to get involved with safety and wellness at Basin Electric, email Bauer at teresab@bepc.com.

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