ROCHESTER, NY (June 6, 2011)- PathStone Corporation was honored with a 2011 Wealth of Health Award from the Rochester Business Journal and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Rochester Region on Friday, June 3, 2011. PathStone is one of twelve recipients of the 2011 award.
The award, now in its sixth year, honors businesses and organizations in the Rochester area that are committed to the health and well being of their employees. Honorees are judged on employee involvement in health initiatives, the creativity of these activities to reach specific targets, sustainability of programs promoting healthy lifestyles, and measurable outcomes of these efforts.
The following was printed in the May 27, 2011 Rochester Business Journal:
One of the most successful initiatives of PathStone Corp. gives employees $500 in a cafeteria plan in exchange for participating in biometrics screening and taking an online survey.
The biometrics screening covers all the bases, including lipids, glucose and obesity, and together with the health risk assessment, it is critical in maintaining and improving the health of PathStone’s employees. In addition, the information obtained through the assessment is used to tailor future wellness programs.
”If there are a lot of employees with high blood pressure, we’ll put together a blood pressure program; if there are many employees who are overweight, we’ll create a weight-loss program,” said Lisa Zhu, senior vice president of human resources.
The online health risk assessment, affiliated with the Mayo Clinic, tracks several factors, including employee health perceptions, sleep quality, medical conditions, medications, risk factors and readiness levels. Combined with the biometrics screening, the health risk assessment helps mitigate medical costs, too.
”We had one gentleman who during the course of the biometrics screening found out his blood pressure was dangerously high. He went straight to his doctor and was treated. Who knows what could have happened without the screening?” Zhu said.
PathStone’s wellness effort extends to its offices in seven states and Puerto Rico. The wellness committee conducts its regular meetings by phone over lunch, so members in all time zones can participate. When they started their work, the committee members conducted an employee survey to find out which programs would be most successful. Most recently, the committee began “The Biggest Winner,” an employee weight-loss program modeled after television’s “The Biggest Loser.”
One very popular initiative at PathStone is the Calendar Program. Employees receive points for completing wellness-related goals.
”An employee can get points for dinking eight glasses of water, getting a flu shot, or losing weight,” Zhu said. At the end of each quarter, the points are tallied and deposited as money in employees’ flexible spending accounts.
PathStone’s programs have been successful. In 2010, 70 percent of the 438 regular employees received the $500 incentive for completing both the biometrics screening and health risk assessment. Sixty-eight employees completed just one of the two components, and only 62 employees failed to complete either.
The programs have benefited the non-profit’s bottom line as well. In analyzing the data collected from the health risk assessment, PathStone found that the average lifestyle risks per employee decreased by 4.6 percent.
More good news: The percentage of PathStone employees at risk from poor emotional health, lack of exercise and improper nutrition has decreased over the last two years. And PathStone is trending lower than the industry average in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and tobacco use.
PathStone has placed employee health management among the 10 items on its corporate strategic agenda. This ensures that employee wellness will remain as high a priority as it is today. The wellness committee continues to meet regularly to make sure wellness programs are fresh and interesting and keep employees motivated to maintain or improve their health.