The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

211: Adjusting Wellness Offerings in Response to COVID with Laura Berry, Manager of Employer Wellness and Tammy Oechsle, Wellbeing Program Director

Laura Berry & Tammy Oechsle

With the emergence of COVID and the sudden shift to sending employees home, wellness professionals had to pivot their offerings quickly. The focus had to shift from in person, planned activities to remote working and lots of uncertainty. 

Today’s guests, Laura Berry, Manager of Employer Wellness at Quartz Health Solutions and Tammy Oechsle, Wellbeing Program Director at Western National Insurance offer a report from the trenches on altering wellness programs in light of COVID and how the tools they learned in the Redesigning Wellness Academy proved valuable.

In this episode, Laura and Tammy share their reactions when COVID first hit and how it impacted them personally and professionally. They share their programs that were successful and those that were less so. They each discuss the progress they’ve made on mental health programming and discuss their plans and considerations looking forward to 2021. Finally, they each give a tangible tip to success for other wellness professionals.

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Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [9:19] Reactions when COVID first hit
  • [17:13] Resources offered that were a success with employees
  • [24:05] Programs offered during COVID that were a bust
  • [28:39] Progress on mental health programing
  • [41:40] How Tammy and Laura are progressing with wellness plans for 2021
  • [47:09] Tammy’s new promotion
  • [49:45] Tangible Tips
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Laura Berry, is the Manager of Employer Wellness at Quartz Health Solutions. She leads the employer wellness strategy for external customers and internal wellness program for Quartz employees. Laura has been in the wellness field for 14 years, mostly in the health plan space, with focus on program management, population health, education, and wellness strategy with employer groups. Prior to health plan life, she worked in health initiatives and fundraising for the American Cancer Society.

Laura has a BS in Health Promotion and Wellness from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and is a certified Wellcoaches health coach. When not working, she likes to travel and spend time with her husband, Dan, and daughter Zaida enjoying all the outdoor activities in Wisconsin.

Tammy Oechsle (pronounced X-Lee) has worked in the health and wellness field for the past 16 years. During that time, she has worked in a variety of positions, including: Group Fitness Manager, Instructor and Pilates Trainer at a fitness Center (LifeTime Fitness). She moved from the commercial side of health & wellness to the corporate side working with a health plan (HealthPartners) as an Onsite Wellness Program Manager for several clients. She then joined a Technology Company (RedBrick Health now part of Virgin Pulse) that designed and created wellness platforms for large companies to implement in their wellness programs.

Since 2016, Tammy has worked for Western National Insurance as the Wellbeing Program Manager and was recently promoted Director. She manages all aspects of the wellbeing program for the corporate office in Mpls and their remote offices located in: Phoenix, Anchorage and Seattle. Western National received Hennepin Counties Wellness by Design Bronze Award in 2017 and their Platinum +Green Award in 2019 for excellence in worksite wellness.

Tammy is passionate about her role as a wellness professional and finds it rewarding to positively impact and inspire people to work and live to their full potential. Her greatest accomplishment and what she is most proud of, is raising and being a mom to her four young adult children.