A library specialist at Fogler on the campus of the University of Maine, Sue Ronayne has been a member of EHPTF for the better part of five years spending several hours a month seeking ways to slow the trend of rising health care costs on behalf of not just those in her collective bargaining unit, (ACSUM), but all UMS employees. In a complex world of co-pays, pharmacy formularies, and hospital tiering, EHPTF's work is not always simple or easy, but it's critical to maintaining a quality health care program at affordable rates.
So, you can understand why she was so anxious to take a break from the tables, charts, and handouts to do some real field testing. Even so, the TrestleTree trial was far from a lark and Sue knew going in, it was important to keep lots of loud feedback as well as her own interests in mind to get the Request for Proposal (RFP) right and determine if there was a good fit.
“I don’t know exactly what I was expecting,” recalls Ronayne. “Personally, I’ve never been overly successful with diets, struggled at times with motivation and never truly overcome life going off script when it comes to time dedicated to wellness.”
But all that began to change after forty-five minutes on the line with Diane.
“She quickly gained my confidence with her twenty years’ experience as a registered nurse and nutritionist, but more than that she actively listened to what I had to say.”
Commutes, kids, choices, and lifestyles and other topics all came tumbling out in that first hour on the telephone. But Sue came away from the call with more than just a new and healthier brand of yogurt to try. She came away with renewed hope.
“When I hung up the phone, I said to myself, ‘This could actually work!’”
Listening intently, Diane offered no cookie-cutter solutions or e-mail attachments, but realistic
options for Sue designed to produce some early gains to fuel her motivation and engagement, defeat her fear of failure, and set her up for long-term success.
Over the last several monthly calls, they’ve discussed everything from exercise to reading labels at the supermarket and Diane has unfailingly gone the extra mile to boost Sue’s steady progress.
“So, it comes out during a call that I love oatmeal, but not all that sugar,” says Sue. “But rather than just suggest that I read labels more closely, Diane jumped onto the web and we found some healthier alternatives reading labels together learning the whole time.”
Diane’s coaching has transformed Sue’s outlook on changing behavior and moving toward individual and sustainable outcomes when it comes to wellness.
“She listens to what’s relevant in my world and together we work out ways to keep moving forward and overcome obstacles in ways that are realistic and practical,”
Sue’s initial product sampling and thumbs up to the EHPTF committee have moved well beyond a “one and done” format. She says, that while she wasn’t certain she was ready to seriously enter into a Health Coaching partnership as a part of her assignment, now there’s no way she’s parting with Diane and their monthly calls.
“Try it. It’s not an assembly line. You’re not a number. It truly changed the way I think about making healthier choices and has helped me build the confidence to know I can succeed.”
While University of Maine at Presque Isle employees are familiar with the System’s Wellness Program, perhaps not everyone realizes that close to home, in The County, they have an incredible resource to help support their efforts to achieve healthier and happier lifestyles.
Keli Marston is the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at UMPI and Healthy and Maine recently had a chance to catch up with her and find out more about her unique ability to encourage her colleagues to explore changes in their lives and her skill in creating an environment of wellness on campus.
Q: Keli, tell us a little bit about the background that makes you such a super fit for the UMPI campus.
A: I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in Physical Education with a concentration in Fitness and Wellness. Then I got certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association to become a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
After working as a trainer and fitness instructor for three years my husband and I decided to go to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia to pursue our Master's degree. There I got my Master's in Health and Physical Education while working as a graduate assistant in the strength and conditioning department. For two years I designed weight training programs for the women's softball, volleyball, tennis, and soccer teams.
Once we graduated we moved to Jacksonville, Florida for ten years. There my husband and I worked at a performance training center called the High Intensity Training Center. He managed this facility and I was a trainer who worked mostly with weight loss clients and some athletes.
Q: How long have you been at UMPI and what does your role as Fitness and Wellness Coordinator include?
A: I have been at UMPI for four years as the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator. This involves everything from teaching group fitness classes, to personal training, to implementing programs to help faculty and staff become healthier and more physically active, to managing my own group of student workers who clean and take care of the fitness center, and teaching some college level classes.
Q: What sorts of group activities have you programmed at UMPI in your time on campus?
A: Some of the types of group fitness classes that I have implemented are fit camp, which is a boot camp-style class, circuit training, which is 30 minutes of different types of strength training exercises, and a stability ball core training class, which is 30 minutes of core and flexibility.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: Programming for faculty and staff has been the most challenging part of my job. I change things year-to-year depending on what works and what does not. I try to implement something new once a month for them. The first two years, I scheduled physical activities for them monthly. Now I realize not everyone wants to do something physical. Wellness is more than just being physically fit. So now I try to incorporate social events, art events, and different distinguished lectures for intellectual as well as mental.
Q: Give us an idea of the sorts of activities that you put in place on a consistent basis?
A: For the month of September I always do a Week of Wellness to kick off the new semester. This year involved fitness assessments, introductions to the strength machines, and a stress management seminar. In October I always plan a Ladies Fit Night for Breast Cancer awareness, and a distinguished lecturer David Sylvester who is a cyclist and filmmaker. For November I will start a new program called the No Gain Challenge. This will start the week before Thanksgiving and run until after New Year's. The goal of this challenge is avoid gaining weight through the holidays. So far I have 11 faculty and staff members signed up for this. December there is another distinguished lecturer, Bob Tarpey, and he will talk about preventing injuries as an athletic trainer. In January I will start my Beach Body Challenge from the end of January until March. I test people on body fat, flexibility, strength, and endurance. For the month of February I like to do blood pressure screenings for heart health, and I coordinate with the cafeteria on campus to provide heart healthy meals for the month. In March I like to do Eat Your Greens in the cafeteria on St. Patty's Day. Then in April I'm planning a weight lifting form clinic, to go over certain lifts and show proper form to prevent injuries.
Q: Where would someone find out the name of their own campus Wellness Champion and how to contact them?
Please see the list of campus Wellness Champions below for the appropriate contact information for your campus:
University of Maine University of Maine at Augusta
Colleen Gagnon Jeanne Mathews
Bridget Gaug firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Drisko Brendan Gilpatrick
Kelley Strout email@example.com
UMA Bangor University of Maine at Farmington
Lori Googins Michael Collela
University of Maine at Fort Kent University of Maine at Machias
Joyce Plourde Michelle Hale
University of Maine at Presque Isle University of Southern Maine
Keli Marston Amy Blaisdell
firstname.lastname@example.org Katie Mahoney
Alyssa Anaya email@example.com
Like to make lists because checking things off can be so much fun?
Here's a Top 10 everyone can appreciate if moving in the direction of a happier and healthier lifestyle is a priority.
And the best thing? No New Year's resolutions to face down after the holidays!
1.Think About Your Wellness Goals and Objectives! – What is it you would like to accomplish? Get fit? Eat healthier? Shed some unwanted pounds? Reduce stress? Maybe drop a bad habit? Or, perhaps just jumpstart your motivation and energy levels? Taking some time to ponder and assess can help focus your not insignificant willpower and determination to make some positive changes in behavior and lifestyle. It’s a great place to begin!
2.Register for your Provant Portal – If you are looking for tools to help you make those changes and sustain forward progress and momentum, you’ll want to make certain you’re registered for the Provant Wellness Portal. Not only does it track your completion of Level One and Level Two incentives, it’s an incredible resource to boost your confidence and provide information that will help you challenge yourself with fun and exciting activities and helpful tips and suggestions.
3.Mark your Calendar for the Level One Deadline – Because the University of Maine System Wellness Program will once again feature Level One and Level Two incentives, you’ll want to circle some important dates on your calendar. Start with April 30, 2017. That’s the deadline to receive the greatest financial reward to help lower your health care premium by completing Level One. Details are featured in the 2017 Wellness Guide!
4.Spend Some Time to Find Out More About the TrestleTree Experience – Wondering about the new Health Coaching partner TrestleTree and whether to either track your existing commitment in that direction or stick your toe in the water to try it out? Take just a moment to read “The Not So Secret Shopper,” one University of Maine employee’s trial run with TrestleTree. You’ll find the article refreshing and informative and it may have you dialing the phone sooner than you expected.
5.Make a TrestleTree Health Coaching Appointment – You can get your first TrestleTree appointment scheduled sooner rather than later. All you have to do is call 1-855-580-2797 and speak to an engagement specialist. TrestleTree’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., (Eastern). And, it’s not a bad idea to call early to ensure you get the time that you want because after the turn of the year and all those resolutions kick in, traffic on the telephone will get heavy!
6.Schedule a Wellness Visit with your Primary Care Physician – While the language for satisfying your Level One incentive indicates that you can either complete a health coaching session or schedule a wellness visit, it’s really not one of those “either-or” choices you should feel compelled to make! Preventive care screenings are invaluable and just think how good you’ll feel by taking advantage of both opportunities covered in your benefit and wellness plan!
7.Contact Your Campus Wellness Champion – Did you know that each campus has a Wellness Champion and Wellness Council dedicated to coordinating activities and programming from TrestleTree and Provant? You do and you also have access to those same partners to share your suggestions and special interests too. That’s right, and it’s important for you to know how to get in touch and stay connected! For the name of your campus contact, please see the feature article on Keli Marston and Wellness Champions.
8.Look for Your Wellness Guide – By now, you should have received your 2017 Wellness Guide. It features useful information on how to take full advantage of your Wellness programming not to mention helpful hints and tips that will support your efforts to pursue your health and lifestyle goals. And, it’s a super resource to keep close at hand with lots of current contact information to remain connected to your Wellness network too!
9.Explore Your New Healthy and Maine Wellbeing Newsletter – By now, you’ve already taken a big first step by opening your brand new Healthy and Maine Newsletter. Take just a moment to browse through some of the other articles and explore the links that help provide you with the tools you need to succeed. In the coming months, you’ll receive new editions of Healthy and Maine with information on Wellness as well as timely updates on the many benefits available to you as a member of the University of Maine System community.
10.Facebook Coming! Mobile App Too! – We recognize that busy lifestyles render such connections as Facebook and mobile phone applications more important than ever and in the coming weeks, you’ll learn more about how to keep in touch on the go!
That's What You Can Do Today!