A wellness coordinator organizes and directs programs, people, and activities to achieve the goal of the best mental and physical health possible. Her scope may be relatively small and involve only the employees of a company or department. In other cases, her range of influence may cover an entire community, town, or city. In either case, the ability to educate and inspire people to recognize the rewards of good health and work toward achieving those goals is vital to the success of a wellness coordinator.
The position involves extensive research and analysis of the target community. Before developing definitive programs or setting hard and fast goals, a wellness coordinator should assess the overall physical and mental health of the people involved. She then develops several general plans of action aimed at improving or alleviating problem areas and convinces the ultimate decision makers that the proposed benefits of the program justify the costs involved.
If the coordinator is working for a company, working in unison with the human resources and benefits coordinator is important, as some employee health benefits and costs may be affected. For instance, if an employee eliminates a health risk from his life, such as smoking or high blood pressure, individual benefits may be increased or the co-payment may be reduced. If company employees as a whole show a marked improvement in health, this could result in lower premiums and better coverage for everyone.
When employed by a city or community, a wellness coordinator works in a broader role to improve physical and mental health in the general population. After analyzing the overall physical and mental health of the residents, the wellness coordinator may work with city officials to organize community events or friendly competitions to improve fitness and physical health through structured programs and goal achievement. This may require the cooperation of local health organizations and hospitals to assist in the testing and screening of community members.
In addition to evaluating the health of populations as a whole, a wellness coordinator may provide personal assessments and recommendations. These services include counseling, crisis intervention, and providing treatment or referrals for employees with personal issues involving substance abuse, domestic and family issues, and chronic or terminal illnesses. If problems arise within the workplace, a wellness coordinator can sometimes alleviate the problem through discussing the difficulties with the department employees and providing counseling for groups and individuals.
All the related duties of a professional counselor or advisor are also the responsibility of a wellness coordinator. She is required to prepare budgets, compile reports, maintain accurate files and records, coordinate resources, and administer programs. Educational requirements vary for each job, but normally require a minimum bachelor's degree with two years counseling or health education experience. Some positions demand a master's degree in a related field along with two to five years experience in an associated health care environment.