Employee Wellness Top Priority at Adventist Medical Center

August 01, 2011

Many of us work all day (or night) and come home too tired to hit the gym or exercise some other way. We wonder why we feel sluggish, unhealthy and maybe even depressed.

Adventist Medical Center, in Portland, Ore., and its Wellness Services team knows to have a happy, healthy workforce, employees need to exercise. That is why the medical center rejuvenated its wellness program, LivingWell, to motivate and educate their employees about fitness and nutrition.

According to Ed Hoover, Wellness Services manager at the 311-bed medical center, LivingWell is the hospital’s expression of its ongoing commitment to its employees. The program is intended to build a healthy workforce — in body, mind and spirit.

“Our employees are so valuable,” says Hoover. “We wanted to invest more energy in them, and apparently there was a need for this program, because we have close to 90 percent participation.”

LivingWell offers employees free biometric health screenings, online wellness assessments and resources, practical workshops, and a variety of interactive activities to keep them moving. The program also offers incentives to get employees motivated — the most notable being a $360 yearly discount off personal contribution to their health coverage.

To stay enrolled in the program and keep receiving the discount, employees must earn points for doing or participating in certain activities. These include attending seminars hosted by the hospital, reading books about wellness, participating in a CHIP program and any form of physical activity. Regardless of the exercise or learning activity, LivingWell has been generating excitement and results.

Jean Riquelme, Adventist Health/Medical Group-Gresham Station clinic physician, has been working at AMC since December 2010. In less than a year, she has drastically changed her lifestyle and claims she probably wouldn't have done so if it were not for LivingWell.

“I was inspired on day one — the day they took my employee ID photo by the healthy cafeteria,” says Riquelme. “I knew this organization would support my efforts to be healthy.”

Riquelme has seen amazing results. After doing a 21-day vegan kick-start program recommended by LivingWell, she is practicing a vegan lifestyle. That’s not all, when Riquelme started on her weight loss, she realized she needed to be active during the day at work, too. She bought a treadmill desk and walks four to five miles a day in her office. So far she has lost 62 pounds and counting.

When asked if she would go back to her former lifestyle, Riquelme says, “I hope not. Sustaining change is always hard. But now that I have lost the weight, life is so much more fun and I have so much more energy!”


AMC Excels in Infection Prevention

In a report released by the Oregon Health Authority Annual Health Care Acquired Infection Reporting Program, Adventist Medical Center is ranked higher than the state average for preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections. The hospital decreased these infections by 50 percent in 2010. Many factors play a role in decreasing infections, and AMC has implemented many steps to prevent them.