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Wellness: The condition of good physical, mental and emotional health, especially when maintained by an appropriate diet, exercise, and other lifestyle modifications. (American Heritage Medical Dictionary)
Imagine an employee survey that results in eliminating the cafeteria's French fries and onion rings. That's what happened at Regence, and it's no accident that it comes after a years-long campaign to create a workplace wellness culture.
"That just shows you we have genuinely moved the needle," said Amy Walloch, who leads who leads the company's employee wellness program.
Every employer wants a healthy, productive workforce, and in the health plan business, setting the example is important, too.
"We had to get the entire workforce onboard with putting wellness at the forefront, starting with our own," said Walloch. "To do that, we launched an internal campaign to get employees thinking about the choices they make every day, and the ultimate costs, in health and dollars."
Going beyond the catchy workplace posters, executives e-mailed their personal wellness experience, and employees were rewarded for changing their behavior—from working out to reading health articles to picking healthy cafeteria fare.
"What's really important is a broad-based health program, where you have something for everyone," Walloch said. "Not everyone can do strength-based exercise programs. You need to have programs that reach everyone regardless of their circumstances."
While many employers launch a wellness plan to get a financial return on their investment, Regence had additional incentives:
That fits right in with our standard of measuring Regence's success based on how well we advocate for—and improve—the health of our members.