Recently, Ambrose held its first employee health and wellness fair. We're a bit different from most organizations in that we are a PEO, a professional employer organization, meaning that companies - mostly smaller ones - contract with us to outsource their HR and payroll functions, including benefits. We wanted to host a health and wellness fair for our clients' employees, but didn't want to charge them for it. So we faced the challenge of conducting a health and wellness fair at minimal-to-no cost.

First, we reached out to our medical carrier and asked if they would allocate any wellness dollars to our efforts. We were surprised to learn our carrier was willing to provide funding for screenings at the health fair. The carrier was also able to help us coordinate blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and body mass index screenings, along with flu shots.

We also arranged for a representative from our carrier to attend the fair to talk to employees about its health risk assessment, along with the other wellness programs they offer at no charge.

Next, we approached our other carriers and vendors and secured our dental, vision and gym discount program vendors to attend the fair to provide prize giveaways and talk to employees about preventive care and their programs.


We wanted more

All of this would have been fine on its own for a health and wellness fair, but we still wanted more. We also found a New York-based vendor that contracts with local vendors who pay them for the opportunity to be in its network and come to companies' health fairs. The business model is that the vendor will pick up additional business through the employees they meet at the fair.

It's an interesting concept that benefited us greatly. We were able to get additional vendors to attend the fair, and the company provided raffle items and an onsite coordinator the day of the fair to assist us with the setup and operations - all at no cost to us.

In the end, we hosted a solid health and wellness fair for our clients' employees that included a lot of health information, local vendors and health screenings - at zero cost. So don't put off holding a health and wellness fair because you're worried about money. Tap into your existing vendor resources, then research what local assistance may be available, and you too can have a zero-cost health and wellness fair that your employees will benefit from.

Contributing Editor Christy Yaccarino, GBA, EHBA, HIPAAA, is a benefits manager for Ambrose Employer Group in New York City. She can be reached at

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