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2015 Healthiest Workplaces in Mississippi


Southern Farm Bureau – 1st Place

Southern-Farm-Bureau-logo_150_rgbThough Southern Farm Bureau was created in 1946 to ensure their customers had competitive life insurance policies, the company also promotes healthy living within its ranks. The Southern Farm Bureau WellnessWorks! Program was devised to provide the home office staff with “healthy programs to create healthier people”. In fact, company policies have been reworked to ensure time for employees to visit the doctor or Southern Farm’s on-site clinic without using sick time. Other examples include a break-time policy where staff can take time to walk using the company’s outdoor walking trail, or visiting a massage therapist on Southern Farm’s expansive campus. The onsite clinic, where team members can see a health provider without charge, is open 40 hours a week to accommodate the 95 percent demand rate. Additionally, Southern Farm Bureau also offers employees a campus café that provides healthy meals at low prices.

Ross & Yerger – 2nd Place

Ross-and-Yerger-logo_150_rgbThe name Ross & Yerger is synonymous with insurance in Jackson. Since the mid-1800s, the firm has earned a reputation as an insurance firm that delivers quality customer service. For generations, dedicated professionals have labored under the Ross & Yerger brand to help the Jackson-based agency become a leader in both the insurance industry and the community. The firm is 100 percent employee-owned and 401 (k) Match Contributions are made in the form of company stock. This creates a family environment, where employees have one goal and are in it together. The company provides an on-site exercise room, and all employees are given 30 minutes two days a week during business hours to go to the exercise room, go for a walk or hit the gym. Ross & Yerger also offer quarterly stress management seminars to help team members better manage both personal and work-related stress.

Mississippi Baptist Health Systems – 3rd Place

Baptist Health Systems-logo_150_rgbLaunched with just two physicians in 1908, Mississippi Baptist Health Systems had humble beginnings. Today, Jackson’s first-ever hospital has grown to feature over 3,000 employees, 535 physicians and 100 volunteers. A leader in healthy lifestyle management, Baptist has an onsite wellness center that provides free medical care and health coaching for chronic diseases. The hospital also promotes an annual incentive program to reward employees who maintain good health and meet personal goals. Employee wellness is an integrated component of the organization’s strategic plan. The Baptist Healthplex and nutrition center provide team members with the opportunity to enjoy physical activity and nutrition counseling. Additionally, Baptist offers employees reduced copays for diabetic medications, and education programs to promote health maintenance and goal achievement.

Fleet Feet – Small Business Award

FleetFeet-logo_150_rgbThe epicenter for running and exercise denizens in the Jackson metropolitan area, Fleet Feet Jackson encourages employees to be physically active with incentives for free shoes and other running gear. Additionally, Fleet Feet team members enjoy a corporate membership with the Madison Healthplex, and reimburse $25 of the monthly membership fee. Lesley and Matthew Holleman acquired the popular store in 2008 and now boast 17 employees. Originally from Baton Rouge, Lesley attended Delta State University and walked-on the cross country team her senior year. An active runner and exercise enthusiast, she and her husband have helped Fleet Feet become Jackson’s hub for the running community. Specializing in training programs that help customers learn how to properly run, walk and participate in triathlons, the franchise received the Pinnacle Award at Fleet Feet’s annual conference in 2008.

Baker Donelson
Butler Snow
Camelia Healthcare
Community Trust Bank
GE Aviation
Levi Strauss
Peavey Electronics
St. Dominics


Mississippi Department of Mental Health – 1st Place

Dept-Mental-Health-logo_150_rgbSeven years ago, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health formed a Wellness Committee to organize events and activities to enhance the overall wellness program on an annual basis. Today, the state’s lead agency on mental health offers a variety of options that improve the wellbeing of its team members, including an on-site wellness center, Wellness Breaks program, fitness challenges and annual health screening benefit. This summer, the department instituted “A Taste of DMH Healthy Food Recipe Share” event, whereby employees prepare their favorite dishes and provide taste samples to their peers. Currently, staff members are in the midst of the High Stair Stepper Individual Challenge, an event geared to encourage employees to walk as many flights of stairs as they can and record the numbers on a weekly basis. Other initiatives include free flu shots and an employee assistance program.
University of Mississippi – 2nd Place

Univ-of-Miss-logo_150_rgbEducating and fostering a community committed to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is a large part of the University of Mississippi’s UM2020, a campus-wide agenda partially focused on specific wellness objectives. Although Ole Miss already promoted a flextime scheduling policy for employees, the policy was revised to assist staff members in meeting personal and wellness commitments. With the assistance of the Health and Wellness grant provided through Blue Cross of Mississippi, Ole Miss was able to enhance campus infrastructure to encourage faculty and staff to walk, run or bike. A fleet of RebelWell-branded bikes have been distributed around campus and walking paths continue to be expanded. Additionally, stretch machines are being piloted in departments with office staff that sit for extended periods of time, as well as departments with employees that are physically intensive.
Mississippi Gaming Commission – 3rd Place

Gaming-commission-logo_150_rgbAt the Mississippi Gaming Commission, staff members are encouraged not to gamble with their health. The agency has taken a bold initiative to move beyond what is required by the State Employee’s Wellness Program to become a holistic program that addresses the Commission’s wellness needs. In 2014, the agency began using the CDC’s Health ScoreCard to assess the lifestyle management program. Among the early changes were updating policies regarding tobacco usage, lactation support and healthy catering guidelines. The Commission’s wellness committee also began to envision how best to promote and utilize the wellness benefits provided by the state. On-site fitness centers for each of the Commission’s office locations are in the process of being established. Employing 121 team members with offices in Jackson, Tunica, Vicksburg and Biloxi, the Mississippi Gaming Commission boasts 12 divisions.
Mississippi State Fire Academy – Small Employer Award

ms-fire-academy-logo_150_rgbStriving to maintain a healthy workforce is a priority at the Mississippi State Fire Academy. For decades, the Academy has allowed personnel to utilize the facilities on campus to maintain health. Those facilities include a state-of-the-art weight room, cardio equipment and several miles of paved road to walk or run on the 112-acre Rankin County campus. Additionally, the Academy has provided healthy nutritional alternatives in the cafeteria. In 2011, the Worksite Wellness program was established, codifying the Academy’s wellness plan and creating innovative ways to include all employees in existing wellness activities. The agency allots one hour per work day for instructional staff to engage in physical fitness to keep up with the strenuous demands placed on instructors during the course of the average work day. Twenty-nine full-time instructors train fire fighters and emergency responders at the Mississippi State Fire Academy.
Hudspeth Regional Center
Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration
Mississippi Dept. of Corrections
Mississippi Dept. of Health District IX
Mississippi State Hospital
Morgan White Group