Collene Van Mol

2020 STEP Ahead Honoree

Health Services Manager
Martco LLC | RoyOMartin

Manufacturing is the backbone of our American economy and allows so many people the opportunity to work with dignity to fulfill personal dreams and aspirations. The men and women of the manufacturing workforce are strong, resilient and innovative. As an occupational health nurse, I am passionate about keeping them healthy, well and at work.

Collene plays a vital role at RoyOMartin by ensuring employees’ physical and mental health and well-being. As the first nurse hired by the company in 2001, her role was to build a comprehensive occupational-health and safety program for employees at its five wood-products manufacturing locations. She quickly made a positive impact on injury incident rates. Within five years, the company-wide incident rate had decreased from 4.87 to 1.13; in 2018, it was 0.56. Collene also launched a wellness program that today has a participation rate of 78 percent and provides incentives for employees who set and meet personal wellness goals. In addition, Collene co-chaired the implementation of a primary-care and wellness center where employees and dependents can be seen for all primary-care needs for $12 per visit. This created both significant health plan savings and more importantly, a more health-conscious workforce.

Collene is passionate about occupational-health nursing. She has directly mentored five staff nurses and was the founding president of Central Louisiana Occupational Health Nurses. In 2014, she initiated the awards and recognition committee for the State of Louisiana Association of Occupational Health Nurses (LAOHN), specifically to find ways to recognize and encourage young OHNs. The Nightingale Award was established for nurses who have practiced fewer than 10 years as an OHN; there have been five recipients to date. In 2018, Collene received a Lifetime Service Award from LAOHN for leadership, mentorship and proven excellence.

Collene has served on many state and local boards and committees related to worksite wellness and community-health efforts. She enjoys working with other nurses, employer groups and business leaders to share strategies for worksite wellness program development and the benefits of onsite health centers and the powerful impact these can bring to a company, to an individual employee or to a whole family as they embrace lasting, healthy change.