Now Hiring – Wellness Specialist for Local College

now hiring wellness specialist

Enliven Wellness Works is hiring for the position of Wellness Specialist to assist a local college’s Wellness Program. We are in search of a student or recent graduate majoring in a health related field (Exercise Science, Wellness Promotion, Dietetics, Public Health, etc). Tremendous opportunity for experience & growth.

 The Wellness Specialist will assist a local college’s Wellness Coordinator in performing technical and administrative tasks relating to the development, implementation, coordination, promotion, and evaluation of their employee wellness programs. The position will assist with a variety of worksite wellness programs at different college locations in Pinellas County, FL.  This position requires independent judgment, creative thinking, and physical performance.

Pay: $15 per hour/ 30 hours a week

Primary Responsibilities

  • Responsible for supporting the college Wellness Coordinator in planning, promoting, and coordinating the college employee wellness program.
  • Assists with report preparation which includes gathering and compiling statistics; reviewing and analyzing data.
  • Assists with the preparation, distribution, and maintenance of publicity materials such as flyers, newsletters, and bulletin boards.
  • Tracks wellness program participation and completions.
  • Communicates with local health and wellness related agencies.
  • Supports disease management and clinical intervention programs that are led by outside agencies.
  • Assists with wellness presentations and events at each campus.
  • Builds and maintains a relationship with fitness based instructors and participating employees.
  • Collaborates with the college Wellness Advisory Board on wellness programming.
  • Provides top customer service to all employees by addressing employee concerns and inquiries in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Adheres to established guidelines for purpose of preventing/minimizing injuries and accidents.
  • Ability to creatively plan and execute various health and wellness programs and activities.

 Knowledge , Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of health and wellness education.
  • Knowledge and understanding of health insurance programs and their relationship to wellness.
  • Knowledge of fitness, nutrition, health promotion and chronic disease management.
  • Skill in developing, organizing and delivering training and educational programs.
  • Skill in use of a variety of computer equipment and software.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with employees, managers, vendors and the public.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects.
  • Ability to cultivate and maintain business relationships with vendors, corporations, government agencies, and employees.
  • Ability to interface with physicians, researchers, individuals, and other health professionals.
  • Ability to conduct special studies, analyze and report results and make recommendations.
  • Understanding and adherence to an integrated model of health, fitness, and well-being.

 Minimum Qualifications

  • AS or AA, in Health, or wellness related degree required
  • BS or BA, in Health, or wellness related degree (completed or in progress) preferred
  • Experience in health promotion, health coaching, fitness, and/or corporate wellness programs
  • Ability to work independently and within a team
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, Windows, PowerPoint, and internet research

Essential Physical Skills

  • Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force as frequently needed to move object.
  • Performance of duties require the occasional long distance walking, standing, bending, kneeling, stretching, pulling, pushing, and reaching. This skill set would be in conjunction with the participation in wellness based events.

Working Conditions

  • Completes administrative work in office environment.
  • Participate in the occasional wellness based events and programs in outdoor environments.
  • Primarily Monday thru Friday with varying hours. Flexibility is required with daily shifts due to varying program offerings.
  • Local travel, in personal vehicle, is required to various worksites

The deadline for resume submission is September 12, 2016

National Safety Month 2015

National Safety CouncilThis website is chalk full of free resources for organizations to support National Safety Month in June, even if you’re a tiny company:

“I absolutely love the materials provided for National Safety Month. I’m a department of one and my time is very limited. Using your free resources is like having a personal assistant during the month of June when it comes to celebrating NSM. Thanks for all that you do!”  

Marcy Gonzalez, Human Resources Manager, CCL Tube, Los Angeles, CA

The Employee Health Debate: Cost vs. People

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There is a big debate these days about how involved employers should be in their employees’  health.

Should employers be concerned about the cost impact of poor health?

You know the old saying, “A company’s employees are its greatest asset”?

Well, doesn’t it make sense that employers would invest in keeping their “greatest asset” healthy, happy and optimally productive? Take a look at these numbers…

  • Obesity costs on average $1,351 annually/employee
  • Diabetes costs on average $1,176 annually/employee
  • High cholesterol on average costs $892 annually/employee
  • High stress  on average costs $764 annually/employee

Source: 2011 SHRM Foundation’s Effective Practice Guidelines Series, Promoting Employee Wellbeing

Employers who invest in wellness programs typically receive increased employee retention, attendance, and productivity in addition to the obvious health improvements which occur when a person implements healthier lifestyle practices.

It has been shown that medical costs improve by an average of $3.27 and absenteeism costs improve by an average of $2.73 for every dollar spent on wellness.  Source 

The flip side of the argument is that employees have a valid concern about their health status becoming grounds for limited opportunity in hiring, promotion, or even termination. As employers become more involved in employee health, the fears grow among work populations.

As stated in the New England Journal of Medicine’s perspective on The Ethics of Not Hiring Smokers,  twenty-nine U.S. states have passed legislation prohibiting employers from refusing to hire job candidates because they smoke, but 21 states have no such restrictions. In addition, there is no federal law and only a handful of cities and one state (Michigan) law which protects obese individuals from discrimination. And even these apply to obese people in general, not necessarily related to employment. Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, Texas has instituted a policy which requires that all employees have a body mass index of less than 35 according to a story by CBS Houston.

Do people who are in less than optimal health have rights to gainful employment and opportunity? Of course they do!

Do employers have the right to staff their businesses with people who are full of vitality, energy and can ultimately contribute to the company mission and vision. Of course they do!

My personal take on the issue: employers need to be involved in employee health, but for the right reasons. Not because they need to control costs…or else. But rather to inspire their employees to be the best that they can be for themselves, their loved ones and their company.

Employee wellness can get buried under health mandates, insurance premiums and other things which scare employees into thinking that their jobs are at risk.

Or, wellness initiatives can be a wonderful way to support your team and inspire them towards new levels of productivity which will help your company thrive in ways that no ROI study could ever calculate.

When you make your wellness programming goal, that of helping your people, the real return on investment begins.

Jen headshot 2013Jennifer Oppelt is the President and Founder of Enliven Wellness Works, a company specializing in workplace wellness and personal wellness based in St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay FL. She is a licensed massage therapist in the state of FL (MA37357), a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Health Coach program and a Certified Workplace Wellness Specialist and Program Manager through the National Wellness Institute . She is happily married and a mother to two children, Alchemy and Ashton. Jennifer loves spending time with family, cooking real food, fitness and is an advocate of sustainable living.

Enliven Wellness – The Beginnings and the New Vision

By: Jennifer Oppelt

It all started with a need to fill, a need for a workplace wellness vendor in Tampa Bay that offered engaging onsite programming. I pretty much had clients the moment I incorporated because my timing was right and I had connections. It was a risk but I knew what had to be done and Enliven Wellness Works was born in April of 2010.

I’ve worked in the wellness field since 2001 when I became a Licensed Massage Therapist. Practicing massage gave me an opportunity to share with my clients the things that I was learning as my own interest in health and wellness peaked. I had many fulfilling years in the massage trade. I began as many newbies in the chiropractic offices but I found my niche working with my mother at Balance & Bliss learning the beautiful practices of Ayurveda. During this time I also did some training in fertility massage which became an interest of mine after the birth of my first child, Alchemy Nirvana.

In 2009 I felt compelled to get out of the massage room a bit and share my acquired knowledge with larger groups. I began doing some workplace wellness education focusing on stress management. I also began teaching at The Cortiva Institute School of Massage.   This experience was valuable for helping me to understand the dynamics of teaching. By early 2010 though, my new company vision that had been floating around in my mind became very real, very quick. I decided to quit teaching, quit massage and focus solely on my new workplace wellness business, Enliven Wellness Works. Also brewing in the back of my mind was my desire to have another child. The clock was ticking, but I had to get my ducks in a row first.

Well, that didn’t take too long. By December of 2010 I was pregnant and Enliven had completed a really nice first 8 months with some impressive clients in the public sector. I stayed surprisingly focused in 2011…for a pregnant lady that is…yes, feeding the stereotype because this one is pretty true. Pregnancy is notorious for doing a number on one’s body and mind. Ashton Slane was born on September 2, 2011 and my family unit felt complete. In 2011 we kept our current clients and gained a few more. My focus though was to simply serve our current business with excellence. I knew better than to try and grow business during this year and I kept spending to the bare minimum. Looking back, I’m impressed with how calculated my decisions were during this time. I did make one rash decision at the very end of the year. I signed up for a year-long study in nutrition coaching with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Best decision, EVER. I really wanted to gain a certification in nutrition to boost my abilities to write programs and this school did not only that but made me actually want to start coaching people formally. I’m still finding a place for that in my life but I know that I can, when I’m ready. The education and the confidence gained, has paid off many times over already.

I welcomed 2012 with a renewed sense of energy around my business. I began my classes with IIN and in January we launched a new round of programs for our biggest account, a local school board. This year the demand for our programs was so high that we actually got a budget expansion and were able to serve about 50% more schools. By the middle of the year I could see that my dreams for a new professionally designed website were about to become possible. But, there was a problem. From my work with IIN I was encouraged to really spend some time envisioning my true purpose. I had this sense that I needed to be doing more. I have this passion for helping mothers with their health and well being. I especially like to share with others about informed birth choices, fertility and preconception planning. I was feeling that I was not doing this work with Enliven. I pondered for awhile and asked myself, “Do I need to start a second business? Do I need to change my focus altogether? And then there’s this coaching thing…it’s so cool…I want to do more of that”. I even started envisioning a coaching network that I could form to connect people with a health, life or fitness coach that would be perfect for them. Nothing felt quite right until I had a session with my coach (assigned from IIN). I laid out my dilemma. I have a successful business with tons of potential for growth, but I want to do these other things too. First world problems, right? But still, how do I make it work? Together, we laid out the 3 tier model that you can see on the Enliven website today. We have workplace wellness front and center, personal wellness and women & mothers sections on either side. It’s still a work in progress but the intention to combine my passions into one cohesive business is there.

2012 also brought me the ability to hire a part-time assistant/social media director/business development manager. Jessica has been a huge help and has brought motivation to the whole operation. Moving into 2013 we even hired an Intern. Rebecca has been helping us with events and a big project that will show the amazing positive results of our programs. These ladies along with my amazing team which is headed up by Lead Coach and Program Coordinator, Tracie are the reason Enliven is so successful.

So, that brings me to today. I still want to do more with mothers. It’s the day before Mother’s Day and maybe that’s why it’s top of mind. But really, it’s always on my mind. Recently I made a decision to do a little bit of a full circle back to my roots. Even though I’ve got plenty of work to keep me busy I was asked, and decided to accept a position for Massage Therapist at Thank You Mama. I enjoyed the break but I’ve been missing the hands-on work for awhile now. Most of what I do is behind the scenes. I have a team of amazing wellness professionals that go out and teach the classes and perform the other wellness services. I love what I do, coordinating it all so they can do what they do best. But, that human connection is priceless. So, I’m happy to be on board at the best place in town for mamas (and anyone at all, really) to go get a massage or acupuncture treatment.  This is one step in the right direction. I’ve also begun my certification process to become a Doula. A Doula helps support a mother during childbirth. I’m not in a big hurry to make myself available for this work but it’s important to me to be able to support my friends when requested. So far I have helped mommas bring 4 sweet babies into the world and was on cloud 9 each and every time!

So, what next? Well, as Enliven gains awareness in the local market we are also getting requests to go outside of Tampa Bay. I’m not jumping at opportunities to expand just yet but I’m paying attention to what the needs are. I have visions of breaking out of my home office and getting a “real office” one day, maybe even opening an Enliven Wellness Center. Overhead…that’s no fun to think about. But, the vision is where these things all begin. For now, we are increasing awareness by coordinating, attending and sponsoring events. And, by golly, I’ll get that coaching network started this year…I will, just watch. And then, I’ll do one more thing. I’ll do the thing that’s been holding me back. I’ll take a leap of faith and fully bring the Women & Mothers tier to life. What does that mean? It means that I’ll stop posting my mom blog content on my other blog, The Mom Collective and I’ll put all under the Enliven umbrella. That may not sound like such a big deal, but to me the mom work is very personal and sensitive. The workplace wellness field is corporate and political. Melding the two seems unnatural at times. I fear that by doing the Women & Mothers in a way that is authentic to me that some of the workplace wellness clientele will be turned off. Maybe it will be a birth story that’s “too much information” or someone’s general disinterest in children and family issues. These are the thoughts that make me hold back.

I’ve pondered on it all for quite awhile. A quote that someone mentioned to me the other day keeps ringing in my mind, “to thine own self be true” It’s Shakespeare, from Hamlet. Here’s the whole verse:

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

To my own self, I must be true. I know this now. I’ve been listening to the audio book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead from Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg. In this book she asks, “What would you do if you were not afraid?” This question has hit me hard. I’ve read in plenty of books, what would you do if you had no limitations, no financial constraints….etc. But what would I do if I was not afraid? Now there’s something to think about. For starters, I’d put myself out there with all my gifts, all my stories, all my passions, not just the ones that I think will be easily accepted. And I wouldn’t worry about what others think. I’d just be me.

Well, it’s late and I must get some rest because my 20 month old boy still does not sleep through the night. A mother’s work is never done, and I’m OK with that.

Jen headshot 2013Jennifer Oppelt is the President and Founder of Enliven Wellness Works, a company specializing in workplace wellness and personal wellness based in St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay FL. She is a licensed massage therapist in the state of FL (MA37357) and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Health Coach program. She is happily married and a mother to two children, Alchemy and Ashton. Jennifer loves spending time with family, cooking real food, fitness and is an advocate of sustainable living.

Why Worksite Wellness?

Our friends over at Health Hero came up with this list and we loved it so much we asked if we could steal it…

Workplace Wellness: A Classic “Win-Win” Scenario

Top 10 Benefits of Promoting Health in the Workplace

(posted on Health Hero Blog Feb. 5, 2013)


Health (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Promoting health in the workplace is a win-win for all. Employers benefit by retaining top talent and reducing healthcare expenditures, while employees benefit from improved physical health and improved workplace morale. Society at large also receives a benefit as the burden on our nation’s healthcare system is reduced. Invest in a workplace wellness program, and look forward to these benefits:

#1 Decreased Health Care Costs
More than half of Americans have one or more chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes[1]. These rates of chronic disease and the rising cost of health benefits have created new interest in workplace wellness programs – and this interest pays, with medical costs falling about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, according to a recent analysis by economists at Harvard[2].

#2 Improved Workplace Morale
Workplace Wellness Programs indicates to employees that the company cares about their well being. While it is common knowledge that these programs benefit employers, the benefits are mutual. A well taken care of employee feels an affiliation with the company; they develop a level of responsibility associated with their work and are often more engaged with fellow coworkers who are also participating in the wellness program. This also makes for a more harmonious working environment.

#3 Reduced Absenteeism & Sick Leave
By offering health education and lifestyle management resources, workplace wellness programs can decrease the cost of sick days. In fact, absentee day costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent on workplace wellness programs[2].  In addition, a 2005 meta-analysis of 56 health promotion programs at organizations of all sizes resulted in an overall reduction of 26.8 percent in sick leave costs[3].

#4 Increased Productivity (i.e. Reduced “Presenteeism”)
The main goal of a workplace wellness program is to encourage employees to lead healthier lifestyles. Being healthy increases concentration, energy levels and hence, productivity. In fact, workplace health promotion represents one of the most significant strategies for enhancing the productivity of workers at a time when their average age is increasing[4].  If you can believe it, health -related productivity costs are far greater than medical and pharmacy costs alone (on average 2.3 to 1)[5]. It has been calculated that each year, loss of worker productivity costs U.S. employers $1,685 per employee per year, or $225.8 billion annually[1].

#5 Increased Job Satisfaction
Lower medical costs attributed to investing in a workplace wellness program are just the tip of the iceberg.
Employees in self-rated healthier work environments have significantly (p < 0.01) higher job satisfaction, commitment and morale, and lower absenteeism and intent to quit[6].


Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

#6 Enhanced Recruitment & Retention
In the midst of a tight labor market, workplace wellness programs can be a vital tool to draw and retain new recruits[7].

#7 Increased Employee Awareness of Health Issues
Health Risk Assessments (HRA) commonly used by workplace wellness programs provide employees with important feedback regarding their health. Often this is the first time employees are made aware of the hazards their current lifestyle choices and inspires employees to take initiatives to improve their own health by voluntarily participating in the workplace wellness program. Most importantly, HRAs provide the opportunity to diagnose health conditions before they manifest into chronic and expensive disorders.

#8. Decreased Worker Injuries
Improving the overall fitness of employees can reduce work-related injuries. In fact, researchers claim that implementing a health and wellness program can produce a 300 to 600 percent ROI by reducing worker injuries and workers’ compensation payments[8].

#9 Decreased Health Insurance Costs
The fewer sick and injured employees you have making insurance claims, the lower your health care costs, including insurance premiums. This simple case for workplace wellness become more compelling as premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance continue to rise, from $5,791 in 1999 to $13,375 in 2009 (a 131% increase), with the amount paid by workers rising by 128%[9].

#10 Better Employee Health
Last but not least, workplace wellness programs improve employee health, enabling them to lead a better quality of life. For instance, HRAs and medical screenings help diagnose problems and allow nipping diseases and disorders in the bud, fitness and exercise programs help preempt diseases, health education raises awareness on how to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, and behavior modification programs help curtail tobacco use or attain weight control.
Success is achieved when workers are made aware of the program, participate actively and willingly in it, are given the tools and resources to change their behaviors, and are situated in a workplace environment that supports healthy lifestyles. Get to work, get your employees healthy and relish in these benefits today!

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Comprehensive Workplace Health Programs to Address Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Tobacco Use in the Workplace 
2. Baicker K, David C, and Zirui S, “Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings,” Health Affairs 29, no. 2 (2010): 304-11
3. Chapman LS (2005). Meta-evaluation of worksite health promotion economic return studies: 2005 update. The Art of Health Promotion; 19:1-14.
4. Carol Cancelliere, J David Cassidy, Carlo Ammendolia and Pierre Côté(2011). Are workplace health promotion programs effective at improving presenteeism in workers? a systematic review and best evidence synthesis of the literature. BMC Public Health; 11:395 
5. Loeppke R, Taitel M, Haufle V, Parry T, Kessler RC, & Jinnett K (2009). Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy: A Multiemployer Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; 51: 411–428
6. Lowe GS, Schellenberg G and Shannon HS (2003). Correlates of employees’ perceptions of a healthy work environment. American Journal of Health Promotion;17(6):390-9.
8. Research Services (2011). Reducing Injuries with a Workplace Wellness Program.
9. The Kaiser Family Foundation-and-Health Research & Education Trust (2009). Summary Findings Employer Health Benefits. Retrieved from

World Heart Day – September 26, 2010

World Heart Federation © Jason Joyce

Each year, more than 17 million people die from cardiovascular disease, mainly heart disease and stroke, making it the world’s leading cause of death. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of celebrating World Heart Day. In 2000, the World Heart Federation, a non-governmental organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, created the annual World Heart Day campaign to increase public awareness about the threat of heart disease and stroke.

The theme of the 2010 World Heart Day is ” Workplace Wellness: Take Responsibility for Your Own Heart Health”.  There are simple ways to foster and promote healthy lifestyles in general and around the workplace. Engaging in healthy behaviors helps to control certain risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and prevent heart disease and stroke.

Enliven Wellness Works is dedicated to keeping employees “heart healthy” with our workplace wellness services. We offer nutrition, smoking cessation and stress management classes, fitness classes, massage therapy and more. Allow us to help you start a wellness initiative at your workplace in honor of World Heart Day this year. For more information contact:

10 Simple Steps to be “Heart Healthy”

Source: World Heart Federation

1. Healthy food intake – Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and avoid saturated fat. Beware of processed foods, which often contain high levels of salt.

2. Get active & take heart – Even 30 minutes of activity can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes and your work will benefit too.

3. Say no to tobacco – Your risk of coronary heart disease will be halved within a year and will return to a normal level over time.

4. Maintain a healthy weight – Weight loss, especially together with lower ed salt intake, leads to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major factor for approximately half of all heart disease and stroke.

5. Know your numbers – Visit a health-care professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, together with waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index (bmi). Once you know your overall risk,you can develop a specific plan of action to improve your heart health.

6. Limit your alcohol intake – Restrict the amount of alcoholic drinks that you consume. Excessive alcohol intake can cause your blood pressure to rise and your weight to increase.


7. Insist on a smoke-free environment. Demand a tobacco ban – ensure your workplace is 100% smoke-free. Support the adoption of smoking – cessation services encourage your employer to provide help to those wanting to quit tobacco

8. Bring exercise to the workplace – Include physical activity in your working schedule – cycle to work if this is possible, take the stairs, exercise or go for a walk during your lunch breaks, and encourage others to do so too

9. Choose healthy food options- Ask for healthy food at your work canteen, or find nearby cafes or restaurants that serve healthy meals

10. Encourage stress-free moments -While stress has not been shown to be a direct risk fact or for heart disease and stroke, it is related to smoking, excessive drinking and unhealthy eating, which are risk factors for heart disease.


  • Take time for lunch away from your workplace to get some fresh air
  • Have regular breaks during the day – try stretching or exercising for 5 minutes twice a day