Newton Medical Center (NMC) is one of 25 Wichita-area businesses recognized as “Healthiest Employer” by the Wichita Business Journal (WBJ) during ceremonies to be held February 16 at the Wichita Hyatt Hotel.
“The Healthiest Employers Awards recognize the companies that make wellness a reality for their employees and bottom lines,” stated Bill Roy, WBJ editor, in a special section of the business paper published on Feb. 16. “It begins with a commitment to influence employee behavior,” he added.
The honorees were selected based on the results of a 75-question online survey and proprietary scoring system created by Indianapolis-based Healthiest Employers LLC. The survey covered six areas of workplace wellness: cultural and leadership commitment; foundation components; strategic planning; communications and marketing; programming and intervention; and reporting and analysis.
NMC’s administration initiated the hospital’s worksite wellness program in early 2008 to improve the health of its employees and their dependents, with the targeted result of reduced health care cost for the self-insured hospital. The NMC Wellness Action Team was organized to implement the early stages of the program. An on-site wellness coach has been a part of the program since 2009.
Health risk assessments (HRA) were offered for individual employees. More than 300 employees voluntarily participated in the first assessment. Participation is tracked and aggregate data from the annual assessments is used to develop an annual plan for each year and to gauge the success of the program. Employees are allowed to pursue wellness activities on company time during their scheduled work shifts.
The top three wellness elements at NMC in terms of participation are health risk assessments; the “Maintain, No Gain” holiday weight-loss challenge; and the Health and Wellness Fair.
Rewards for participation are used as incentives. Rewards may be as simple as a snack coupon for a healthy item in the hospital’s Sunflower Café or a coffee mug with the challenge logo, to a diet and fitness journal or cash.
In 2012 the Wellness Program implemented the use of an online tool for personalized wellness information for participants, and a means to track participation points throughout the year. Participation points may be redeemed for a health-plan premium rebate on the last paycheck of the year.
Members of the NMC Wellness Action Team include Malea Hartvickson, Troy Slabach, Tony Wahl, Barb Darcey, Jason Adams, Andrew Parsons, Beth Selzer, Mindy Parry, Scott Roberts, and Todd Tangeman.
Newton Medical Center is a comprehensive 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., offering full-service medical care in Harvey, Butler and northern Sedgwick counties. For more information about Newton Medical Center, please call 316-283-2700 or visit www.newtonmedicalcenter.com.