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East Central Indiana Promotes A Healthy Work/Life Balance

Communities, employers help ensure residents stay healthy

By Kari Kynard Ridge on April 29, 2019

East Central Indiana Wellness
Muncie / Wavebreakmedia

East Central Indiana is serious about wellness.

Local businesses are developing programs to help reduce health care costs for workers, get them engaged in healthy habits, increase overall morale and ultimately retain and attract top talent. To make an even bigger impact, some local health care providers are teaming up with cities and civic groups with programs to help everyone stay healthier when they’re off the clock and out in the community, too.

Wellness at Work

To keep us well at work, several local employers have implemented corporate wellness programs on their own or in partnership with health care providers.

“In the tight labor market, it’s critical that employers have a healthy workforce to hire and retain. Employee well-being has become a strategic priority for many employers,” says Jennifer Pferrer, executive director of the Wellness Council of Indiana, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to worksite wellness and community well-being.

For example, Draper Inc. has made employee wellness a major focus for over a decade and has achieved state and national recognition for its efforts. In 2014, Healthiest  Employers LLC recognized the Spiceland manufacturer as the “Healthiest Workplace in America.”

Draper partnered with Henry County Memorial Hospital, now Henry Community Health, to offer an on-site clinic. Draper’s wellness program, which includes competitions with incentives, is designed to help employees lose weight, quit smoking and lower blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels.

NTN Driveshaft Anderson, Inc. opened a medical clinic on its campus in 2018 through a partnership with Indiana University Health. Services available at the clinic include primary and immediate care, preventive care, lab services, medication dispensary, wellness screenings, occupational medicine, health coaching and workplace ergonomics. The clinic is staffed with a nurse practitioner, medical assistant and a health coach.

“Our partnership with IU Health was started to provide our employees a low-cost option to health care and to assist them in pursuing healthy lifestyles,” says Teresa Amburgey, NTN Driveshaft Anderson human resources manager.

Amburgey says the clinic is open several days per week with day and evening hours. She added that clinic services and prescriptions filled through the clinic are available at no charge to employees and dependents who are on the company’s health plan.

Joe Kukolla, a brand manager at Indiana University Health, says IU Health is a mission-driven organization that is committed to improving the health of Hoosiers.

“The greatest benefit of establishing workplace clinics is the opportunity for employers to control their health care costs, provide their employees convenient access to health care and improve the overall health of their employee population,” says Kukolla. “This partnership allows our clinical staff and management team to develop targeted wellness programming that is customized to the needs of each population.”

Wellness in Life

Residents also enjoy access to several community-based wellness programs throughout the region.

Reid Health runs its own community health program, Reid Healthier Wellness Club, which offers free memberships through a portal to everyone who wants to participate. Features of the Club include peer and professional support, tools for improving health and points that can lead to rewards for participants who complete screenings and participate in wellness initiatives. Reid also offers free monthly cooking classes in which a dietitian and chef team up to demonstrate making tasty, affordable and healthy meals such as “healthier pizza rolls” and “healthy biscuits and gravy.”

“Reid’s goal is to improve health by providing access to exercise opportunities, providing education and encouragement to make healthy choices, and to reduce disparities related to activity and nutrition,” says Angela Cline, Reid Health community benefit director. “The key to making an impact on these needs is implementing community-focused wellness programs such as healthy cooking classes, the Reid Healthier Wellness Club, supporting local fitness initiatives and food councils, and by providing a grant cycle specifically forprograms that are working to meet these needs.”

In a recent grant cycle, Reid Health contributed to 23 community programs focused on physical activity, nutrition and weight, Cline says. One of these programs is a partnership with the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department’s “Get Healthy in Our Parks” initiative, which runs a kids’ triathlon, a sports camp, the We “R” Fit education series and a walking club that has more than 100 participants. A partnership with the Richmond Family YMCA supports programs such as Fitness-On-the-Go, which offers yoga and Zumba classes throughout Richmond.

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