Genesis Earns National Wellness Award - Genesis Health System

Published on August 27, 2012

Genesis Wellness Program Earns National Recognition

Genesis Health System has been recognized by Wellness Councils of America (WELLCOA) as a national leader in employee wellness.

Genesis has received a Gold Award, which recognizes organizations developing comprehensive programs producing results. Criteria for each designation is based on progressive development and implementation of an organization's wellness initiative within the context of seven critical benchmarks.

Genesis Health System is one of 25 Gold Award winners from across the country. Genesis was less than 3 points from earning a Platinum Award, which is the highest level of recognition.

"A healthy workforce is very important to us,'' said Doug Cropper, President and CEO, Genesis Health System. "Our employees take responsibility for the health choices they make. Our role as leaders is to provide them with wellness programs and opportunities that promote health.''

Genesis Health System offers its employees a variety of incentives and programs to maintain and improve their health. 

One of the most successful initiatives has been the Healthy Lifestyles program. Employees receive an annual screening for the five risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Employees who have fewer than three risk factors
qualify for lower health insurance rates. Because of the program, Genesis employees have enjoyed nearly stable health insurance costs while rates across the country have risen steeply over the same period.

The Genesis WellPower Program, managed by Jan Treftz-Allen, is a key component of employee health. The program introduces employees and spouses to health habits to improve their lives. The program focuses primarily on exercise, nutrition and stress management, which have the biggest impact on health risks.

Within the Genesis WellPower Program are challenges for participants.  Exercise, improved food choices, stress coping skills and taking part in Genesis-sponsored events are documented as part of an incentive program to reinforce good habits. The WellPower website offers employees online education and a variety of other resources to manage their health.

Genesis employees receive discounts for YMCA memberships and other health clubs. The Genesis food service offers healthy entree selections every day and vending machines have healthier options.

Another successful wellness program at Genesis is an annual employee bike sale. Employees are able to purchase bikes, biking gear and exercise equipment on a discounted basis and can have their purchase deducted from their payroll checks.

"We're very proud of the total wellness program at Genesis and the participation by employees and their families in the program,'' Cropper said. "Our wellness initiatives have helped save millions of dollars in our organization's employee health care costs, but more importantly, our employees are benefitting through improved health and lower costs for health insurance premiums.''

Genesis Occupational Health is working with area employers to introduce successful Genesis initiatives to their employees.

Wellness Councils of America, based in Omaha, focuses on building Well Workplaces – organizations that are dedicated to the health of their employees. To date, more than 600 companies have received Well Workplace awards.

WELCOA's Seven Benchmarks of results-oriented workplace wellness programs are: Capturing CEO Support; Creating Cohesive Wellness Teams; Collecting Data to Drive Health Efforts; Carefully Crafting An Operating Plan; Choosing Appropriate Interventions; Creating A Supportive Environment; and, Carefully Evaluating Outcomes.

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