UCAR Wins Health Hero Award

September 23, 2009

BOULDER—The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has been honored with a Health Hero Award from the Boulder County Business Report for its array of employee wellness and ergonomics programs.

The Health Hero Award recognizes companies and individuals in a variety of health care categories, from emergency workers to administrators. UCAR won the award in the contest's business category, which recognizes a business or company wellness program, healthy work environment, ergonomics program, or other health-related activities. Eligible companies must be in Boulder or Broomfield counties.

Photograph of two women, one taking a medical test, sitting in an officeThe annual UCAR Health fair is free and open to UCAR employees, retirees, spouses/partners, and dependent children 18-25 years old. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) News media terms of use*

UCAR's wellness program includes two free fitness centers on site, exercise classes such as yoga and Pilates, showers and locker rooms on three campuses, a supportive environment for bicycle commuting that includes covered bike storage units, three onsite cafeterias, and corporate discounts on local fitness centers and ski passes.

UCAR sponsors an annual health fair that draws around 700 employees and family members each year for blood chemistry screening, private consultations, more than 50 health and wellness booths, and other activities, the majority of them free to attendees. The organization's onsite flu vaccination clinics, also free, draw an average of 800 staff and family members each year.

UCAR also provides one-on-one consultations at the request of any staff member for avoiding the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries connected to computer use. The organization's onsite ergonomist averages 200 such evaluations each year. Over the past 10 years, the ergonomics program has reduced workstation injuries by 73 percent, despite yearly increases in computer work time.

UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research and related programs for the geosciences community and has a total staff of about 1,500.

"Wellness activities are an important part of our overall benefits package and demonstrate our commitment to our employees' wellbeing," says Kathryn Schmoll, UCAR vice president for finance and administration. "We are honored to receive this award."


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The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.