Douglas County District Court Administrator Linda Koester-Vogelsang received the Culture of Health Award from WorkWell Douglas County during the LiveWell Douglas County annual celebration breakfast on Nov. 18 at the Cider Gallery. Linda leads the Douglas County District Court wellness program, and her team was recognized for their continued wellness efforts through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The global pandemic provided numerous opportunities for individuals and organizations to demonstrate perseverance. One excellent example in Douglas County for this in wellness is the Douglas County District Court wellness program.” WorkWell Douglas County Chair Janelle Martin said during the event. “Douglas County District Court, like many other frontline organizations, remained open in a ‘business as close-to-usual’ format through the pandemic. Most of the staff still reported to work each day. Some adjustments embraced during this time have been incorporated into the workplace as staff navigates coming out of the pandemic.’”
Martin described Linda as a go-getter, compassionate and enthusiastic. Linda utilizes her background as a nurse to highlight opportunities that District Court could consider to address wellness issues. “She understands that there may be an element of stress present in the staff’s interaction with those who are involved in court matters.”
With Linda’s direction, some of the wellness activities undertaken by District Court staff include:
- Establishing a Snack Shack that is stocked with healthy food options for staff.
- Planning and coordinating an employee garden where staff not only can enjoy the benefits of the products grown, but also participate in the work to care for the garden. Produce grown is shared with staff as well as neighbors.
- Coordinated a “treat week” that focused on encouraging staff to meet others outside of their department by taking a mental health break to enjoy a treat and visit with others.
- Encouraged staff to be physically active and provided recommendations for getting outside as schedules allow.
- Purchased a treadmill desk that can be used by anyone on the staff with a reservation; and the purchase of vari-desks (those that raise up & down) for staff who want the flexibility to work standing up so they don’t have to sit while working all day.
- Coordinated the renovation of space that created a room for lactation support not only for staff, but for anyone participating on a District Court jury.
- A newsletter for all District Court employees.
- Providing health snack options to jurors and potential jurors for any District Court case.
“Linda is passionate about the work that she does and the environment that the District Court provides for employees and Douglas County residents,” Martin said.