NMC Commentary

Is NMC Investing in Worksite Wellness?

Yes!  NMC has a strong history of investing in the health and wellness of our workforce.  Just last week, NMC’s HealthyU program was recognized for the 14th consecutive year by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for excellence in worksite wellness programming.  Even with that continued honor, NMC’s official corporate values of “innovation,” “wellness and prevention,” and “our people and our community” prompt us to continue to advance and improve our HealthyU program for our staff.

Healthcare is a rewarding sector in which to work and yet days can be very challenging across our entire organization.  Investing in the wellbeing of our staff directly impacts the care to our patients.    HealthyU is a key support for our team.  An investment in worksite wellness is also a smart business decision, as better personal health contributes to lower healthcare costs, stronger retention, and reduced turnover.  It’s a win for employees and a win for the business. We hear many stories of appreciation from our staff about the HealthyU offerings.

Last fall, Lifestyle Medicine & RiseVT Medical Director Elisabeth Fontaine, M.D., worked with a team of NMCers to re-energize our award-winning program in pursuit of even higher participation and even greater impact.  NMC’ers are now incentivized to participate in an online health assessment, have a complete set of blood work performed, and then have a one-on-one health coaching sessions (using the nationally recognized WellCoaches model) to build personalized improvement plans based on what the employee wants to focus on within their life and their habits.  Employees can then earn a discount on their health insurance premiums by having an annual physical with their primary care provider (as that is one of the most important health relationships a person can have) and having follow-up visits with their health coach to foster progress in their personal health improvement.  In addition, employees can qualify for some fun prizes by participating in a variety of HealthyU activities, workshops, offerings, and healthy community events (like the Run for Jim, the Relay for Life, the Corporate Cup, RiseVT events, etc) and taking part in community volunteerism.

The strength and breadth of NMC’s HealthyU program has become an important recruitment tool as well. It is not uncommon for newly hired staff to arrive already excited about what they have heard we offer employees!  Would you like to work in an organization that hosts free massages for staff every Friday?  What better way to say thank you and to help them recharge than treating them to an occasional massage?  NMC also has an onsite wellness room where we host a variety of offerings, including the growing-in-popularity ’10-minute abs’ that lets staff get a little bit of core exercise and a lot of laughter in on their afternoon break.  That room also hosts the weekly HealthyU mindfulness and meditation session, where staff can relax and re-center their energy. We are also a culture that enjoys fun challenges – be it our recent ‘Walk the Long Trail” challenge with our colleagues at Northwestern Counseling & Support Services or our own internal “Sensational Salads” taste-testing contest.  NMC’s Restaurant & Catering works with Healthy Roots and the NMC food committee on healthy eating on campus.  Naturally, the positive energy of RiseVT amplifies everything we do regarding wellness within NMC, helping our own staff join in on our community’s campaign to embrace healthy lifestyles.

I am so proud of everyone at NMC who has contributed to HealthyU earning the continued honor from the State and in continuing to advance our worksite wellness programming.  As a hospital, we need to be a leader and set the example for the importance in investing in good health and primary prevention.  If you would like to learn more about how NMC Lifestyle Medicine, Northwestern Occupational Health, and RiseVT can help your business or organization establish or improve a worksite wellness program, please reach out to our team at (802) 524-1227.  Please join us in embracing healthy lifestyles!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer