Employers Leverage Saint Francis’ Own Wellness Programs
Employers who are taking a more active role in encouraging their employees to live healthier lifestyles are leveraging the same wellness assessment programs that Saint Francis Medical Center uses with its own employees.
“The firsthand experience gained by our Wellness team provides a foundation of best practices we use in tailoring programs that meet each organization’s specific needs,” says Alex Ogburn, MBA, director of occupational health services at Saint Francis.
Encouraging employees to live healthier lifestyles can generate benefits for the organization ranging from greater productivity to reduced healthcare costs. The Medical Center’s Services to Business team offers a three-part wellness assessment program:
- Internet Based Personal Wellness Profile – Each participating employee fills out a personal wellness profile and submits samples for lab work. Medical Center experts analyze the resulting data and determine the primary risks for the business.
- Executive Summary – The Saint Francis team prepares an executive summary based on the employees’ results. The report includes business demographics; major health risks; health status; health age and quality of life summary; recommended actions; intervention strategies; and the economic impact of major risks.
- Education and Coaching – The team offers a variety of services focused on helping the organization minimize its areas of greatest risk.
For more information about Saint Francis’ wellness assessment programs, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.
Holiday Season Is a Good Time to Encourage Healthy Lifestyles
Americans’ propensity for eating too much and exercising too little is costing employers millions of dollars in lost productivity, healthcare expenses and sick days. The holiday season provides the ideal opportunity for employers to generate awareness and encourage healthy lifestyle changes going into the new year.
About two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese today, which is 74 percent greater than 20 years ago. Predictably, the number of Americans suffering from three or more chronic illnesses has increased 85 percent since 1995.
“Cardiovascular disease and cancer now account for more deaths than all other causes combined,” notes Philip E. Tippen, MD, section chair of internal medicine at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Obesity, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and living a sedentary lifestyle are all major risk factors for these diseases.”
Studies show that obese workers are almost twice as likely to experience a high level of absenteeism as their non-obese peers. Medical costs for obese workers are 42 percent higher, and lost productivity per obese worker is more than $6,000.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, employers experience a return of $3 to $6 for every $1 they invest in a workplace wellness program. In addition, the American Journal of Health Promotion reports that workplace wellness programs result in a 26 percent reduction in the use of benefits and a 28 percent reduction in sick leave.
For information about Saint Francis’ wellness assessment programs, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.
OSHA Releases Revised Guide on Respiratory Hazards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a revised guide to help small businesses protect workers from respiratory hazards. The Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard is appropriate for businesses with fewer than 250 workers.
The guide provides instruction on selecting and fit-testing proper respirators to protect workers in a variety of industries. It includes new illustrations to help identify various respirators, and describes how and where workers should use them.
In addition, the guide explains how Assigned Protection Factors (APFs) and Maximum Use Concentrations (MUCs) can help workers and employers asses the level of protection necessary in a given workplace.
OSHA provides a free on-site consultation service for employers with fewer than 250 workers who would like help in identifying and correcting hazards, as well as improving comprehensive safety and health programs. Consultations are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations.
To order the respiratory standard compliance guide or request the consultation services, call 1-800-321-OSHA. The agency’s Respiratory Protection web page also includes hazard alerts and training materials.
To schedule a Saint Francis Medical Center physician to assess your workplace, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.
Link to Respiratory Protection web page: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/respiratoryprotection/index.html.