Reminder: Benefits ambassadors are here to share information, encourage healthy living, more

Implemented on the West Lafayette campus in March 2016, the Benefits Ambassadors program continues to thrive and promote overall health campus-wide. Each year, interested faculty and staff are recruited to act as liaisons to Purdue’s benefits team.

According to Kathy Thomason, senior director, Comptroller, her goal as an ambassador is to make sure benefit changes and opportunities are communicated to the staff she works and interacts with so everyone is on the same page.

“This program touches all aspects of the benefits department in an effort to create overall wellness in regard to physical, mental and financial health for Purdue employees,” said Candace Shaffer, director of  benefits in Human Resources. “Ambassadors continue to essentially be the voice of our benefits department across campus and help bring benefits-related information and initiatives directly to employees."

The ambassadors will help inform and motivate colleagues to achieve healthier lifestyles by providing information on the variety of benefits resources available, sharing suggestions and ideas in committee meetings and actively advocating health and wellness benefits among their co-workers. With the introduction of the Healthy Boiler Program in 2018, the ambassadors seamlessly integrated Healthy Boiler – highlighting the program and encouraging participation in the program -- into their responsibilities.

“As the Healthy Boiler program continues to evolve and grow, we expect to see our ambassadors in the forefront of the program’s reach across the Purdue community,” said Shaffer. “This group of individuals had the desire to apply for an ambassador position and in doing so demonstrated they are ready and willing to help. We are excited to see how our ambassadors work to help their fellow employees learn and understand what benefits brings to the table and how to use those benefits to meet the unique needs of themselves and their family members. With all that is happening across the university, the ambassadors are an integral part of helping us share information on a one-to-one or small group basis on a variety of topics.”

Along with Healthy Boiler, benefits ambassadors have the opportunity to learn about initiatives, share knowledge and schedule programming pertaining but not limited to Family Friendly, Retirement, Financial Benefits, Medical Benefits, Center for Healthy Living and Leaves/Time Off.

“It’s important to make sure everyone knows the benefits available to them as employees at Purdue,” Thomason said. “It always makes me cringe when I hear someone say, ‘I didn’t know about that,’ after they’ve missed an opportunity to use a benefit. As ambassadors it’s our job to help fill those gaps and reiterate the plethora of benefits available, any changes that are happening and help employees find answers to questions they might have.”

Ambassadors serve as resources to the campus community by gathering and sharing information but do not serve as customer service representatives; they also do not have access to anyone's personal health information.

For more information on the ambassadors program, Human Resources created an overview and frequently asked questions resource page for the program. A roster of the current Benefits Ambassadors (2018-2019) is also available and can be used to contact the ambassador for your area to share ideas or request a workshop on a specific topic. If your area is not directly represented, contact Human Resources at 765-494-2222, toll free at 877-725-0222, via email at or HRHelp.

Additional information on Purdue benefits can be found on the Benefits web page. Specific questions related to the overall benefit offerings at Purdue or your personal benefits should be directed to Human Resources at the contact information listed above.