GTNO MSSS

Working on Wellness (WoW) – Another Healthy Choice

YELLOWKNIFE (November 25, 2014) –Working on Wellness (WoW) has officially launched in the NWT. The initiative is designed to help employers support their employees in making healthy lifestyle choices. WoW’s long-term goal is to reduce preventable cancers and other chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“We are very excited about the WoW program and its innovative approach to achieving our vision of the best health for NWT residents,” said Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy. “A large part of our day is spent in the workplace. WoW provides workers with the knowledge and ability to lead healthier lives both in and outside of the workplace.”

Five NWT sites have signed on to pilot the program in their workplaces: De Beers Group of Companies, Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation, Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). Representatives from the five different stakeholders met to mark the beginning of the WoW program as it works to improve the health of people across the NWT.

“De Beers has always recognized that healthy employees are the foundation for a safe workplace. The Working on Wellness initiative is one more way that we are supporting De Beers and contractor employees to eat well, be active and enjoy healthy lives on the job and at home,” said Glen Koropchuk, Chief Operating Officer for De Beers in Canada.

“The WoW program represents an unprecedented opportunity for the Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation (DDEC) to collaborate and conduct joint program delivery with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission. It brings together for the first time a proactive partnership between the diamond mines and the public sector.   This initiative positively impacts the short and long term health needs of our employees and contractors, who are, beyond a doubt, a core asset to the company and a critical component to the success of the overall organization,” said Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer, Chantal Lavoie.

“Health and wellness has always been valued at Diavik where we provide a variety of nutritional choices and fitness activities. By partnering on the Working on Wellness initiative, we are expanding how we promote health and wellness. The program partners will be sharing ideas which will educate, promote, and support improving the health of our employees, contractor employees, and their families,” said Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc. President Marc Cameron.

“WSCC is excited to be part of the Working on Wellness program which emphasizes the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.  At WSCC we encourage our staff to take advantage of the program and to view wellness as a contributing factor to overall workplace safety.  We hope our commitment to this program encourages others to see the importance healthy lifestyle choices play in reducing workplace injuries and disease,” said WSCC’s Chief Executive Officer Dave Grundy.

“The participation of these five major employers in the NWT demonstrates the wide interest of employers in improving the health of people here,” said Minister Abernethy. “Being healthy doesn’t begin at home or end at work; it can become part of our daily lives. Initiatives, such as WoW, make it easier to get started.”

Working on Wellness is funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Health Canada through the Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP) initiative. The initiative is based on WellnessFits, an existing promising practice.  Participating worksites have undergone a workplace assessment and, based on employee interests, will provide support to employees in areas such as increasing physical activity, improving healthy eating or speaking to mental health in the workplace.

The Working on Wellness Program is an initiative of the Healthy Choices Framework, a Government of Northwest Territories program to promote health through appropriate choices. Healthy Choices supports the goals of the 17th Assembly to have a strong and independent north built on partnerships and a healthy and educated population.

For more information on Working on Wellness and other Choose NWT programs please visit: http://choosenwt.com/programs/working-on-wellness-wow/.

Media inquiries:

Damien Healy
Manager Planning and Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Tel: (867) 920-8927
Email: Damien_healy@gov.nt.ca