Story by Lissette Minges, TSET Healthy Living Program Specialist
First incorporated in 1898, Payne County Bank has a long history of taking great care of the citizens of Perkins and Payne County. Over the last several years, this tradition has expanded beyond the financial health of its customers and employees. CEO Lynn Kinder is passionate about his community and health, and wanted to make some healthy living choices for his employees.
The TSET Healthy Living Program serving Payne County began a partnership with Payne County Bank in 2016. Through this partnership, Payne County Bank’s wellness committee began working to implement some physical activity and nutrition practices in the workplace while taking a look at their tobacco policy. Payne County Bank passed their tobacco policy in 2016 and their first wellness policy in October 2016. In 2018, the bank updated both policies with improved elements affecting nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco prevention for their employees. With these changes, the bank was awarded the Certified Healthy Merit Award in 2017 and the Healthy Organization Award with the Healthy Living Program in 2018. Payne County Bank, with Lynn’s leadership and support from the wellness committee, has been able to make healthy choices easier for its employees.
Located on Main Street in Perkins, Payne County Bank is a 100% employee-owned community bank. Payne County Bank is a self-insured employer and has focused on lowering their employees’ premiums for years. When faced with this challenge, making healthy changes in the workplace reaped great results in a short amount of time! Payne County Bank’s health insurance plans are divided into several tiers and various categories with a 5% rate difference between each. For the 2019 planning year, the bank had an 11% decrease in their premiums from the rates they were given in 2018, saving the bank a total of $20,000-$30,000 in premiums for the year. Lynn stated that he feels the premium decrease is directly correlated to working with the Healthy Living Program and updating their tobacco and wellness policies in the most recent years.
Each month the bank’s wellness committee meets to evaluate which types of challenges will have the most impact on their employees and which they would enjoy the most. Along with planning, the committee evaluates their success in following established policies and gather ideas from the Healthy Living Program as well. At the beginning of 2019, the committee will establish a weight loss challenge over a period of several months. The bank will also hold its first health assessment for employees to get an idea of specific areas to focus on daily health choices. In addition, an annual flu shot clinic is also available free for all employees, and it is opened up to their customers as well. Lynn states since implementing these changes and updating their policies “over the last year our employees have had less sick days,” which is extremely productive for the bank.
Payne County Bank’s healthy initiatives extended beyond the walls of the bank and out into the community of Perkins. For fifteen years, the bank has held a 5k race to benefit United Way of Payne County and Perkins Lions Club. In 2018, the Pistol Pete Run added its first 10k race. To encourage their employees to be physically active, the bank covers all registration fees for the event. In 2018, 180 runners from all over Payne County crossed the finish line. They even had one participant all the way from London.
It has been a pleasure for the Healthy Living Program specialists to partner with Payne County Bank, to see the fruits of their labor in making healthy living choices easy for their employees, and to share their enthusiasm for healthy living with their community.
About TSET Healthy Living Program
The Healthy Living Program is a grant-funded program by TSET, the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, which focuses on improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and tobacco prevention in Payne County. The overall goal of TSET and the Healthy Living Program is to reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease by preventing obesity and reducing tobacco use. The TSET Healthy Living Program creates evidence-based and innovative programs which address these three areas as well as research and emerging opportunities. Their activities include leadership, grantmaking, stewardship, and communication in all of Payne County focusing on the three areas of nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco prevention. For more information on the Healthy Living Program and how it can assist your business or organization, please contact the Payne County office at 405.780.7309.