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Horizon Bank: Promoting Health & Wellness


Horizon Bank has long been known for sponsoring popular fitness events in the community such as Tour de La Porte, but they also place a great emphasis on health and wellness among their team. With a wellness program that boasts many incentives for employees to engage in healthy activities and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Horizon has cultivated an atmosphere that truly values fitness and health.

Within their wellness program, employees have a variety of healthy goals they can meet in exchange for rewards, including discounts on their premiums. Some of the goals, such as the bio-metric screening, reward not based on the results but on the fact that employees are making a greater effort to monitor their own health. They can also participate in fitness events and complete wellness modules on the Horizon website which promote different ways of learning about health and wellness. Between rewards for the bio-metric screening, fitness events, and wellness modules, employees can earn $20.00 reductions for each, for a total of $60.00 off their premiums the following year, truly an incentive for greater wellness!

"We've had a wellness program here at the bank for 15 years at least," explained Diane Garwood, VP of Human Resources. "It is really nice from a company perspective that they support it. If you're interested in wellness, then you can enjoy it and do it on your own time. We've had people come in and say, 'I had no idea I had high blood pressure,' after getting a screening for the program. I think it is really great that we have this program for our employees."

Rachel Saxon, President Horizon Trust and Investment Management, is herself the Executive Chairperson of the Northwest Indiana Go Red for Women campaign.

"This year, I am the Executive Chairperson for the Northwest Indiana Go Red for Women campaign which is working on fundraising and throughout the region," said Saxon. "Part of that is with Franciscan Health. With the new hospital they are building in Michigan City, they wanted to partner with the American Heart Association to get more heart healthy companies in the area, and Horizon is the first of those."

The Go Red for Women campaign is offering three sessions for Horizon Advisors, with one having occurred in February, another in March, and one more to come in April. Each features a different topic, with the February meeting focusing on seven areas to focus on to improve heart health. March will feature blood pressure information, including the AHA's new guidelines on a healthy blood pressure range, and April's topic is still to be decided.

"Each of those sessions is presented by a different medical professional from Franciscan, and we even record it and put it on our intranet so everyone can view, because not necessarily every employee will be able to make it to Michigan City, but we want them to benefit as well," Saxon explained. "The Go Red movement overall started approximately ten years ago because, until that point, research focused largely on heart disease in men, so this was started to focus research on heart disease and strokes in women."

Much as heart disease is the number one killer of men, it is also with women, and can start in an individual's 20's, so bringing this focus to women's health early is vital.

"If you're in Northwest Indiana, Lake County, La Porte County, Porter County, we have events in those counties that can bring 200 people out and provide further education and funding for research," said Saxon.

Between their expansive health & wellness programs and incentives, as well as the leadership of individuals at Horizon like Rachel Saxon on community-wide health events, Horizon is truly a leader in the effort to bring healthy living to the forefront of Northwest Indiana.


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