Health + Wellness = CaroMont Health Formula to a Healthier Business

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April 2, 2012

Business was not at all usual at CaroMont’s weekly Director’s meeting last Tuesday.  Instead of waking up to that morning cup of Joe, staff were up on their feet moving to “Cupid Shuffle” to jumpstart the day led by the CaroMont Wellness Team.

Getting moving during the business day is routine these days for CaroMont Health employees. It’s a way of life. Fifteen months ago, the CaroMont Wellness Team began putting deliberate actions in place to make health and wellness more accessible to employees resulting in being named the number two 2012 ‘Healthiest Employer’ in the Charlotte area by Charlotte Business Journal. The second annual program was conducted by Healthiest Employer, LLC an Indiana limited liability company in association with the American City Business Journals, Inc. Of the 20 employers who participated this year, all had to meet certain qualifications and have proven results to be considered for the award on issues such as the availability of smoking-cessation programs for workers and the use of health screening to identify areas of concern.

“CaroMont Health has been in the wellness business for a little over a year,” said Andrea Serra, VP of Wellness. “We’re quite proud that in that time we have documented results of a healthier workforce. This accomplishment is unheard of and something to celebrate.”

Last year marked a significant ‘journey to health’ when CaroMont’s new Wellness Director led a team of CaroMont employees to improved health focusing on nutrition and healthier food options in the cafeteria, group exercise classes, stress management and relaxation techniques, spiritual development and by and large work-life balance.

“The journey has been incredible,” expressed Debbie Bellenger, Wellness Program Director. “Every day an employee shares a success story with me about how they walked more, ate better, reduced medicines, etc. which spills over to our entire workforce as employees encourage each other. I am anxious to see where we will be at year two, three and beyond!”
What does all this mean?
Based on the annual 2012 Health Risk Assessment (HRA), employees’ overall general health is better as indicated by a 2.3% increase in the number of employees who have two or fewer health risk factors. Moreover, employees are experiencing greater weight loss, improved overall Body Mass Index (BMI) and lowered blood pressure—not to mention, the physical activity levels have gone up with1.4% more people exercising three or more times per week, and 3.6% fewer people not exercising at all.

“Our staff are ready to regain their health,” said Serra. “We are committed to breaking down barriers to good health and making the healthy choice the easiest choice.”

The culture of health continues to evolve every day at CaroMont with the support of the Wellness Team and engagement from senior leadership. In fact, senior leaders have their own ‘Health Revolution’ team which involves a weekly visit from Wellness staff to discuss overall health, weight loss or gain and various health strategies. Among these, was CaroMont’s participation in the March 2012 Corporate Cup Challenge. More than 100 CaroMont employees participated in the Charlotte race placing CaroMont third in the ‘large business division’ and fifth overall.

Part of this journey to better health is creating positive peer pressure and accountability among staff to maintain their new healthy lease on life with buddy walks/runs and group exercise classes at the CaroMont Summit Building.  And, the wellness buzz is making its footprint in the community. CaroMont is taking their formula for health outside of its four walls to the people of our community, and more is yet to come. 

Business as usual? Yes, if it involves health at CaroMont.

For more information about CaroMont Health and Wellness, visit caromonthealth.org or call 704.834.2558. 

About CaroMont Health
A nationally honored health provider, CaroMont Health is promoting a more vibrant community through individual health care. CaroMont offers a network of top resources across five counties, all centered on a state-of-the-art, 435-bed hospital that is ranked among the best in the nation. It is a spectrum of health services that is just the right size to deliver high-quality, individualized care that has been recognized by the following experts:

• CareChex rating service: First in the nation for medical excellence for overall care
• Region’s only  Hospital to receive  North Carolina’s Award for Performance Excellence (Baldrige) 
• Joint Commission: Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.
• A 2011 Top Performing Hospital for providing high quality, efficient care as a part of the Premier healthcare alliance QUEST program.
• Healthgrade Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ three years in a row, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

CaroMont Health is located at 2525 Court Drive in Gastonia, N.C., and can be reached at (704) 834-2000. Additional information is available at www.caromonthealth.org.

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