By Nicholette Carlson
WARSAW — Combining her interest in health and wellness along with her experience in the business world, Lisa Harman became one of the founders of Live Well Kosciusko and is currently the president and CEO.
With her positions in human resources at both Zimmer Biomet and Grace College, Harman was able to learn about corporate benefits and, on a special trip to New York, even how organizations choose their benefit groups. This included wellness benefits.
Her personal interest in health and wellness benefits began to grow after a family member was diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away in 2014. Soon after, at a routine checkup, one of her daughters was diagnosed with an aggressive form of thyroid cancer. These instances made Harman excited to receive a grant during her position at Grace College to start a pilot program for cancer screenings.
In her role at Live Well Kosciusko, she and the team support community coalitions including the Cancer Consortium, Tobacco Free Coalition and Employer Wellness Coalition. The Tobacco Free Coalition focuses on improving the health of the Kosciusko County community by urging people to live tobacco free. In the Employer Wellness Coalition, local employers meet with Harman and others to find ways to promote wellness with their employees in the community. She enjoys being able to incorporate public health into business and gives employers information on available wellness plans and free programs. With the Cancer Consortium, a cancer control plan is implemented with a focus on prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship.
In the last year Harman has been working on another new program based on the five pillars of well-being in partnership with the Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce, K21 Health Foundation, Zimmer Biomet and the Kosciusko County Community Foundation. Last year Harman helped to gather survey results from members of the community regarding the five pillars of well-being: purpose/career, physical, financial, social and community. This year she’s helping to improve these pillars in the community.
The desire to improve wellness options in Kosciusko County is what led her to help found Live Well Kosciusko. While she was working on the pilot program at Grace College, she began collaborating with other organizations who had also received the grant. Throughout the collaboration, Harman noticed the resources other communities had Kosciusko County did not. Live Well Kosciusko came from her desire to “start a nonprofit organization to fill some of those gaps.”
She remains grateful for the opportunities she has received in her life. Harman desires to use her skills and experience to serve the community, make a difference and build on what is already available. She is also on a number of committees promoting health, care and diversity throughout the community.
While working and raising a family, Harman attended Ivy Tech Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management, a master’s degree in public health and a certificate from Harvard in Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health.
Harman was born in the area, but moved to Kentucky after fourth grade when her father retired. After graduating from high school, she moved back to Kosciusko County to be closer to her siblings. She lives in the Claypool area with her husband. They have two daughters and a son as well as one grandson.
In her free time Harman enjoys to hike and bicycle. In the last year when most events were cancelled, she took the opportunity to hike in state parks with her family. She also admits to loving butterflies and landscaping her yard to attract them.
Recently she took some conservation courses with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and is doing her part to remove invasive species from her property.