Wellness in mind at YSU

The Living Well Employee Wellness Portal helps YSU employees look after their health. Photo by Molly Burke / The Jambar

By Molly Burke

Youngstown State University’s Employee Wellness Program, Living Well, offers resources and educational tools to employees aspiring to make positive health and well-being choices.

Learning and Development Administrator, Carrie Clyde, was involved in founding Living Well in 2009. She said the program helps employees work toward their wellness goals at their own time and pace through assistance with mental health, finance, exercise and more. 

“With our employee wellness program, we are looking to offer resources, tools, programs — to help employees become the best that they can be,” Clyde said. “The program is voluntary … We focus on the target audience of benefit-eligible employees.”

Clyde said employees can access the program and its features through the Living Well Employee Wellness Portal.

“The portal is kind of the place to go, the dashboard [is] where people can go to see a whole host of all of the different things we have to offer,” Clyde said. “We also try to promote what we have available through our healthcare provider Medical Mutual. They have things like we get a discount through Weight Watchers. We have chronic disease management tools.”

Additionally, the portal offers challenges to motivate employees to get involved. Clyde said participants can earn points by completing the challenges, and at the end of the year, those points can be turned into cash.

“We have $100, [that] is the base level, up to $250. So, there’s four different levels in there depending on the amount of points that people can earn,” Clyde said. “Then that goes out into their first paycheck in December.”

Crystal Bannon, assistant director for the Office of Career Exploration and Development, has been participating in the program since it started 14 years ago. She said her favorite part of the program is the Walk Your Way to Wellness Challenge. 

“It’s nice because it gives us the opportunity [during] our lunch breaks or our meeting times during the summer, to say, ‘Alright let’s go ahead and get some steps in,’” Bannon said. “Not only does [Clyde] provide the tracker … for participants if they don’t have an Apple Watch or a Fitbit of their own, but then there’s also different types of drawings throughout the program.”

Faun Williams, business operation specialist for Housing and Residence Life, frequently uses Living Well. She said the program allows her to be a part of the wellness community. 

“I feel better being a part of the wellness community. I love that we go in every year and do our assessment,” Williams said. “There’s no reason that we should be on this campus and not be somewhat healthy, or have the information that we need to be healthy.”

Shawntae Burton, outreach coordinator for the Assured Digital Microelectronics Education and Training Ecosystem program, said the program has been beneficial to her.

“[Living Well] has given me information that has taught me how to make my office more workspace friendly. It has given me information to help with all types of things, including stress,” Burton said. “The greatest benefit is that they have offered these learning modules and experiences in so many modalities, that anyone can access this information at any time.” 

Employees seeking more information on Living Well can visit the Living Well Employee Wellness Program Portal on its website