I joined the team at Ollis and Company 5 years ago with the directive to engage local business with our strategic approach to containing rising healthcare costs through improved health. As a Risk Management/Insurance company we realized that wellness was the only area of rising healthcare costs that could be contained and so we made it our mission to lead the charge. I currently serve as our onsite Wellness Director at Ollis and Company for our staff of 33, as well as working with over 20 companies in the South West Region of Missouri. I have had over a decade in the field working in various capacities in the wellness arena and look forward to many productive years ahead.
1. Why wellness? I am passionate about competitive sport and enjoy the benefits that being in great shape affords. My father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1989 and I wanted to effect change.
I graduated from Drury University in 2001 with my Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science. I became a Welcoa Faculty member in 2012 and a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist in 2013.
My self -development through great authors and presenters has allowed me to develop the furthest. The certifications along with my understanding of how to deliver the message has been the most rewarding experience thus far.
2. In 2011 Ollis and Company was facing the same issues as many small businesses around the country. We had rising healthcare costs, we needed to have more productivity from our employees but most importantly we wanted our employees to feel good. We knew that feeling good would be a win/win situation for both our company and our employees.
In 2011 based off of our Health Assessment results our committee set about our goals of reducing the number of overweight and pre-diabetic employees over the next three years. In a targeted effort collecting data to drive our results we set up our program requirements.
We incentivized employees to get healthy by tying their insurance benefits directly to their wellness participation. We had done this for several years prior but we started to up the ante in 2011. Employees were given the choice to be part of the wellness program and receive the insurance benefit if they would complete the requirements. We asked that they continued to complete the annual health Assessment, attend 3 of 4 onsite wellness presentations, visit their doctor for their yearly screening and meet with me quarterly to set up goals and coaching.
Our results have been fantastic, and we are very proud. Between 2011 and 2013 we were able to reduce our Pre-Diabetic population from 7 employees to 3, our employees who had increased BMI went from 4 to 1 and our employees with uncontrolled hyperlipidemia from 14 to 9. As of the 2013 Health Assessment 20 of our 22 employees who have gone through the three assessments have two or less risk factors. Over the three year period our projected cost savings based solely on improved health conditions was $89,334.
Our goal for 2014 is to have all employees with two or less risk factors. To help promote this further we have taken our participation based program to a results based program. We are starting slowly with this but are excited to see the results which we should have within the month
During this timeframe we have continued to offer our employees great resources to encourage them to reach their goal. Each year we offer to pay for 3 months of onsite personal training at our facility. We provide fresh fruit several times per week. We allow jeans to be worn on Fridays if employees have worked out 30 minutes on the clock during the week. Last year we introduced afternoon recess where employees can take 15/20 minutes to throw the football, hula hoop or walk on the clock.
Richard Ollis, our CEO, is a driving force behind our program. Richard is willing to listen to all ideas presented to him and willing to allow myself and our committee to experiment outside of the traditional box. Senior leadership is vital in any wellness program and much of our success is due to Richard.
3. Staying active and pushing myself to new goals is what keeps me refreshed and excited. Good health promotes good health, and by participating in community events and groups I push the needle. I work out daily and plan to return to masters swimming next year.
I serve on several committees including the American Heart Association and the Healthy Living Alliance, trying to bring together like minded groups and individuals to work together to promote health in our community.
I also design and run a wellness conference each year with an average of 250 attendees featuring some of the best wellness professionals in the country.
I struggle with the same issues most people do when trying to live a healthy lifestyle, so I lead by trying to make myself available to talk and support anyone who wants to make a lifestyle change. Be open with your advice and experience, sharing is the only way we can be successful.
4. The golden bullet in my arsenal and the thing that has had the greatest impact is tying the insurance plan directly to the wellness program. I have traditionally done this through a participation based program but as of this year have taken 4 of my most established clients to a results based platform.
By communicating effectively and creating programs that are enjoyable and produce results I have been able to secure an average of 86% participation within my client groups. Ollis and Company has a 100% participation rate.
As previously mentioned at Ollis and Company we have over a three year period projected cost savings based solely on improved health conditions of $89,334. Our employees are engaged and instrumental in creating programs that they would like to see. Wellness is part of the fabric of our company and employees are immersed in it as soon as they are hired.
5. The change in the way that health insurance is delivered is a huge challenge but a great opportunity. Although health is not considered a factor in the renewal process under the Affordable Care Act it is still the only element that we can control. As a country we need to work together to share best practices to improve health in the workplace and stem the rising healthcare costs.
I will be working with my clients, insurance carriers and our community to make sure we are all heading in the right direction. I plan to be involved with policy and have already helped in the creation of a healthy Birthday policy for Springfield Public Schools. With each year comes new challenges but through policy change and community education myself and the many other wellness practitioners can make the difference.