In January 2002, in response to identified needs in the community, 11 collaborating partners in the Bangor region developed and implemented a plan to offer effective workforce wellness to business members of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce. They recognized that employers need to provide health education and incentives to change unhealthy behaviors and to focus on long-term health improvements that benefit both employees and their companies.
In 2003, the Bangor Region Wellness Council (BRWC), a non-profit affiliate of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, was created by and for the business community to provide leadership, guidance, and support to area businesses to develop or enhance workplace wellness initiatives to help Maine people attain healthier lifestyles.
One of the original collaborationg partners suggested a national affiliation with the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), a non-profit association that offers companies nationwide, a program of best practices for employee health promotion. Using the workplace as the foundation, WELCOA had built a framework that allows American employees to live healthier, more productive lives.
We represent an innovative approach to hold the line on healthcare cost at their origin, specifically the unhealthy lifestyles of employees and their families. In 2006, thanks to the efforts of BRWC, the Bangor Region was designated the first "Well Region" in the nation by the Wellness Council of America.
Bangor Region Wellness Council has trained hundreds of participants in the Well Workplace process via Well Workplace University, is mentioned by name in Maine's State Health Plan (2007), and created a renowned Mentoring Team of Award Winning Members who work one-on-one with companies, small and large, to create, build, maintain, and sustain results-oriented employee wellness programs.
In January 2008, the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) recognized the local group's ongoing success and expanded our service area to include the entire state of Maine. Our name changed to Wellness Council of Maine. Although our name changed, our commitment to quality and service to our members remains the same.
In 2013, the Wellness Council of Maine began to phase out its agreement with WELCOA. Although the two councils had a strong relationships over the several years of their partnership, the Wellness Council of Maine was looking to go in a new direction, and desired to offer its members a different set of quality online resources.
This led to a partnership with the National Wellness Institute (NWI), a nonprofit and one of the oldest wellness organizations in the country, which was among the first to encourage the wellness movement. Well known for its annual National Wellness Conference in Stevens Point, WI, NWI works to provide health promotion and wellness professionals with unparalleled resources and services that fuel professional and personal growth. Their mission is in alignment with WLCME's, and they remain commited to promoting and advancing workplace wellness across the state of Maine.
The success of Wellness Council of Maine comes from the business leaders who put time, energy, and resources toward making this a healthier region for everyone. The decision-making is shared. The resources are shared. The success is shared. WLMCE is proud to mark 2013 as our 11th year working to improve the health of Maine businesses.