#MNPS Voices: Johnsie Holt, Staff Wellness Coordinator

MNPSVoices_102517_JohnsieHolt As Metro Schools celebrates receiving the Cigna Well-Being Award, a national award recognizing employee health and wellness, Johnsie Holt can count it a professional win that validates the importance of her daily work in promoting healthy environments and habits for employees across the district.

Holt’s role as Staff Wellness Coordinator for the Employee Wellness Center keeps her focused on improving and maintaining the health of all MNPS employees and, although a new resource, she said she is already seeing positive results.

“I have heard several testimonials, especially from employees using our fitness center facilities, physical therapy and health coaching services,” Holt said. “They have experienced everything from healing injuries that have plagued them for years, losing weight, getting stronger, having more energy, and feeling more confident in themselves or even forming new friendships. It is so amazing to watch people make positive changes in their lives, and I’m just thankful that I get to be a small part of that.”

Before becoming the Staff Wellness Coordinator, Holt was part of the Coordinated School Health department, a grant-funded program that promotes healthy environments for students. She spent seven years rallying around PE teachers helping to provide support at schools with limited funds or staff to implement programs and activities.

Holt believes the opening of the Employee Wellness Center has been a positive step for workplace wellness. The new state-of-the-art health facility offers MNPS and Metro employees with expanded medical, therapy and behavioral health services, a full-service fitness center, a fully stocked onsite pharmacy and a healthy food café.

“It’s really a one-stop-shop for health,” Holt said, adding that the expanded services also include onsite physical therapy, health coaching and chiropractic services in addition to a full-service clinic. “We have a fitness center filled with cardio and strength training equipment, a walking track and fitness studio for classes.”

Holt said that while society at times makes people feel like it’s selfish to make time for self-care, she keeps the adage, "you can’t pour from an empty cup," at the forefront of helping provide the resources and support needed to “fill [our] employees’ cups back up.”

“Our employees are so giving to everyone around them – our students, their co-workers, the community,” she said. “I would like to think that my work helps provide them with opportunities and encouragement to take care of themselves in return.”