UPMC wellness program applauded
Doug Muetzel, CEO of Downtown-based Wesley Spectrum Services, a mental health and social service provider, said it's reassuring when the designer of your workplace wellness program garners national attention.
“If you are trying to convey that you're passionate about kids and their families like we are, you've got to look out for the well-being of your own staff, too. It's important — having a program in place that reflects our mission on a very personal level with our employees,” Muetzel said.
Wesley's provider, the UPMC Health Plan and UPMC, received the platinum award from the National Business Group on Health for the fourth consecutive year for delivering innovative and comprehensive health management and services through its MyHealth program.
The program is designed to maintain and improve the health, productivity and quality of life of employees, while reducing bad habits and employers' health care costs.
The program helped keep UPMC's annual health care cost increases — called a cost trend — at 1.1 percent. That's far below national and regional averages of nearly 7 percent.
“We're really very proud of our program to be cited among just seven programs nationwide. It's also a benchmarking tool, enabling us to take a look at our own program and to compare it to what's going on in the rest of the country,” said Stephen Doyle, senior manager for UPMC Health Plan.
UPMC has more than 55,000 employees in Western Pennsylvania; Wesley, about 450. Each company notes that more than 90 percent of its employees participated in health risk assessment surveys and more than 98 percent in “Take A Healthy Step” programs, to boost healthy habits.
“We've been able to mirror their (participation) numbers, and I credit it being a grassroots effort here. If people just get a note from the CEO to participate, it just won't happen, but if people look around during a program enrollment meeting and notice co-workers are there participating in WOW (Wesley on Wellness) activities, the employees will take ownership of it,” Muetzel said.
Doyle noted a 38 percent reduction in tobacco use. More than 9,000 employees participated in a recent “weight race” and lost a combined 16.5 tons over 12 weeks. UPMC's “Let's Get Active” campaign, which encourages employees to exercise the equivalent of one mile each day at least five days a week for four weeks, attracted more than 3,000 employees and logged activity equal to more than 212,000 miles.
Confluence, an investment data management automation firm headquartered on the North Shore, recently said it would add an on-site health coach through a pilot UPMC Health Plan program called, “MyHealth Coach @ Work.” The health coach will work with employees for four hours, one day each week.
Dr. Michael Parkinson, senior medical director of health for UPMC Health Plan, said the program will enable employers to purchase health coach services to fit their needs. He noted that it makes a typically “luxury” service more affordable to a wider range of companies.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Visual search still hampered by image issues
- States clear way for startups to use crowdfunding
- Government approves compromise on Corbett’s alternative Medicaid plan
- Gas drilling company withdraws application for forced pooling in Western Pennsylvania
- S&P 500 holds steady at 2,000 level
- USDA updates dairy insurance program
- Lower your cable bill by streaming shows
- Hershey unwraps new corporate logo
- U-PARC houses companies ranging from innovative to traditional
- Deported migrants find home at call centers
- 2 top technology officers leave UPMC