The Kentucky Employees' Health Plan is featuring Champions who are dedicated ambassadors in health and wellness. These individuals strive to increase engagement, make healthier choices and inspire others while utilizing the benefits and tools KEHP has provided.
August 2018- DeeDee Yantz
Our Spotlight Champion for August is DeeDee Yantz. DeeDee works at the Oldham County Health Department where she serves as the Director of Administration Services. Deedee’s passion for health and wellness comes from wanting to live a balanced and happy life.
DeeDee is heavily involved with health and wellness at her health department. She has created a fun and healthy environment for her employees. She has three bicycles in the office for employees to use at any time. There are also bike and walking trails that run along the road in front of the building. These trails are highly utilized throughout the employees' breaks during the day.
DeeDee’s wellness goals for herself are to continue to stay active and lose weight. She enjoys walking on the treadmill while watching the news or a movie on the television. The Oldham County Health Department has a room with a few exercise machines, and a treadmill that DeeDee uses. She has reached Gold Status with Go365, but is quickly approaching Platinum Status! She enjoys spending her Go365 Bucks on Amazon gift cards to help purchase Christmas gifts.
DeeDee’s inspiration to others is “every day is a new beginning, start fresh each day.”
Previous Spotlight Champion Stories
Our Spotlight Champion for July is DJ Riggs. DJ is a school guidance counselor/PE teacher at Ben Johnson Elementary School (BJES). DJ is passionate about health and wellness because he wants people to have a better quality of life. His parents did not take care of their health and both passed away at younger ages. DJ does not want to follow in those same footsteps and wants to be around to meet his future grandkids someday. DJ is also passionate about health and wellness because he survived a car wreck while in college and his doctors told him that being in great shape was one of the main reasons that he survived. Instead of just forming his physique to be very muscular, DJ’s goals are now to live longer and to improve his quality of life.
DJ has received many grants that gives his school the resources it needs to implement health and wellness programs. DJ promotes the Go365 program at his school and within his district by creating healthy challenges every month. He also helps members with their Go365 accounts and shares ways for them to earn more Go365 Points/Bucks. The local gym has a beacon set up for members to get points for attending. DJ is coming up on his seventh straight year of organizing the 5K and one mile run at the Hoedown Day Festival in Hardinsburg, Ky. He leads the BJES Get Fit Team whose mission is to help promote health and wellness to the school and county. He leads the “Wildcat Crew” which is a running club for the school. He has implemented Breakfast Smoothie Friday at the school to help get students excited about breakfast. He leads the Jump Rope for Heart campaign to help raise money for the American Heart Association.
DJ has reached Go365 Platinum Status. He has purchased a Fitbit Surge and believes that without the Go365 Bucks, he would not have made the purchase. His favorite wellness activity is cycling. DJ’s inspiration to others is to “put in the work today that others won’t, so tomorrow you can accomplish what others can’t.”
Our Spotlight Champion for June is Jarred Winebarger. Jarred works in the Madison County School system, where he serves as a third grade teacher. Jarred is passionate about health and wellness because he has three young children that he enjoys being active with and plans to lead them along a healthy journey. He and his wife participate in local races including 5Ks, 10Ks, mini-marathons, and even obstacle races.
Jarred encourages faculty and staff to engage in wellness initiatives in the school. Teachers can participate in after school exercising classes where the focus is on high intensity interval training, circuit training, and Tabata style classes. Weekly step challenges are available to the teachers as well. The students get to participate in a program called “Fit-Friday,” where members from the community such as the YMCA, Zumba, yoga, and kick boxing instructors come in and lead exercises. They have also had the Eastern Kentucky University’s football and girls’ soccer team join in on leading exercises for the students. Jarred would love to train for another mini marathon, initiate new wellness opportunities for students and possibly start an exercise class at his church in order to reach out to more people in his community.
Jarred has reached Go365 Platinum status. He and his wife both have Fitbits that they were able to get using their Go365 Bucks. They spend most of their Bucks on Amazon gift cards to purchase Christmas presents. Jarred inspiration to others is to stay consistent. “Consistency is key.”
Our Spotlight Champion for May is Rhonda Mann. Rhonda works at the Department of Education where she serves as the Human Resource Administrator. Rhonda is very passionate about health and wellness because she enjoys exercising, whether it be working in the yard, going to the fitness center or simply walking. It makes her feel better both mentally and physically. Rhonda also enjoys eating healthy and exercising.
Rhonda not only provides wellness opportunities for the Kentucky Department of Education employees, she also includes the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet employees as well. She has scheduled several health clinics to allow employees to complete the health assessment. A chiropractor and an optional insurance agent were present at the events in case employees wanted to receive information on their services. A Diabetes Prevention Program class also takes place once a week in their building.
Rhonda has reached Go365 platinum status. Her favorite items to purchases with her Go365 bucks are Lowes gift cards and fitness devices. Rhonda’s inspiration to others is “Do some type of fitness activity every day whether it be walking, running or even meditating. Just do something for yourself.”
Our Spotlight Champion for April is Maureen Travers. Maureen works at the Office of the Attorney General where she serves as the Human Resource Specialist. She also serves as the wellness point of contact for her agency. Maureen is very passionate about health and wellness because she has four fun and active grandchildren that she would like to continuously do fun things with. “I feel better when I’m healthy, but even more importantly, I’m able to keep up and go on the best adventures with them.” Maureen’s favorite activity is hiking but one of her goals this year is to get back in the water, along with tracking her food intake and not overdoing it on the fats.
Serving as the wellness point of contact for her agency, Maureen schedules “biometric screening” events every year at the Capitol and at their east location. She encourages all of her employees to participate in statewide challenges, and she pushes for their individual offices to have challenges amongst themselves. Maureen schedules appointments with her employees, and she goes to their desk with a “get moving gift” like stretch bands, various exercises, and exercise DVDs. She shows them all the ins and outs of working the Go365 programs, connecting devices, partnered gyms, and setting goals. Maureen also keeps all of her employees up to date with the latest health and wellness information, and is always available to discuss any aspect of their wellness life.
Maureen has reached Go365 Platinum status and has recently spent some of her Go365 Bucks on a new Fitbit Flex 2. She purchased a new Kayak so she needed a fitness device that worked well on the water. “I choose to be happy; therefore, I must choose to be healthy.”
Our Spotlight Champion for March is Shellie Wingate. Shellie works at the Kentucky Department for Public Health/Health Promotion Branch, where she serves as the Kentucky Healthy Communities Program Administrator. Shellie’s passion for wellness comes from being a former dancer/ballerina along with the interest of understanding how impactful strength and conditioning can have on performance. While attending the University of Kentucky, Shellie discovered her love for nutrition. After earning a degree in nutrition, Shellie spent the beginning of her career working in nutrition research at the University of Kentucky. “Nutrition research is still a relatively new field compared to other sciences so I feel like we are just beginning to understand the different ways food can affect our body.” Because of Shellie’s interest in wellness, she became a certified personal trainer and a certified health coach. Shellie’s goals are to improve on her skills with helping people improve their health and mobility through eating better and exercising. Shellie is also a fully recognized lifestyle coach for the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Shellie has reached Go365 Gold status and loves to spend her Bucks on Amazon gift cards.