The unique concept of Healthe You was created in 2007 with the vision that an integrated wellness program will not only reduce health care costs to the employer, reduce the cost to the employee, but also provide an ongoing incentive even after the employee retires. In 2010 the program was expanded to the covered spouse/domestic partner and provides the same incentive structure.
I have been a part of the wellness team at Advocate Health care for 4 years and in the wellness area for 6. I serve as a health and wellness consultant to over 200 sites of care. Currently, I oversee the strategic design, management and execution of health and wellness management offerings for internal associates and covered spouses (30,000 participants). I lead all engagement activities and efforts for the wellness program. A great deal of my role is spent collaborating with clinical enterprise leaders to incorporate key components of the accountable care strategy in order to manage health plan experience for Advocate, and collaborate on approaches to incorporate this strategy to the employer community. I manage daily operations of the fitness, health coaching, and wellness service lines as well as supervising management staff and front line leaders.
The current Healthe You vision focuses on integrating employer offerings (including fitness facility management/design, health coaching, wellness services, condition management, complex case management, occupational health, disability management, worker’s compensation, EAP, environmental stewardship, organizational development and benefit plan design)and is a major component of my approach to population health. I continue to develop policies and procedures that support a culture of health within the organization including but not limited to: Healthy food offerings at meetings, walking/standing meetings and mandatory stretch breaks.
I do not get up everyday and go to "work". Instead, I wake up and go to "fun". The program and it's participants are what inspire me everyday to make a difference at Advocate.
Corporate wellness was not always my passion. When I graduated from High School I was set on being a teacher. I even took several education courses in college. It was at one point when I was speaking with a friend of mine that it wasnt really teaching that I wanted to do, it was "educating". I had a very strong passion for wellness and knew that is where I belonged. I received a Bachelors of Science degree in Fitness and Wellness Management from Lewis University in 2009. I am a Certified Intrinsic Lifestyle Health Coach (IC) and Certified Personal Trainer (NCSF). Currently, I am pursuing a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist (CCWS) certification. Through my leadership, I have received recognition locally, regionally and nationally for Advocate through rewards submission processes, conference presentations, and board participation. These experiences have provided a great benefit to my personal growth and professional career path.
Demonstrated Success (500 w or less)
The Healthe You program has come a long way since its inception. When the program first started, the incentive was to avoid the high deductible health plan by merely completing a Health Risk Questionnaire (associates only). We used the data from the 95% that participated as a baseline to begin our wellness journey.
Once a baseline was established, we decided to use the HRQ as a gateway into lifestyle interventions. In year two, the HRQ and a biometric screening were required to earn a cash incentive of $200. The $200 would be placed into a Deductible Reimbursement Account for purposes of reimbursing out-of-pocket medical expenses. In subsequent years the program grew to require more and more engagement.
Fast forward to 2014. The current Healthe You design has evolved immensely. The incentive structure now has two different levels: Credit and Rewards. The credit incentive is now $600 deposited into the DRA for those enrolled in our PPO product, and $200 in a Copay Coinsurance Reimbursement account (CCRA) for those enrolled in the HMO, based on completion of program requirements (applies to covered spouses as well). Any unused funds in these accounts rolls into an interest bearing "Healthe Futures Account" and is accessible ones the associate retires or reaches age 60 for out of pocket medical expenses. The second tier of incentive is our rewards program. Participants have the opportunity to earn raffle points by attending “Healthe Events” across our hospital system and in the community. The more points earned the better chance to win one of our $500 quarterly raffles or our $5,000 annual raffle! The Healthe You team coordinates and hosts “Prize Patrols” which consist of organized groups of employees (including managers and VP’s) to ambush the winners’ work unit and present them with a $500 or $5,000 check accompanied by lots of confetti and noise makers. The $5,000 winners are interviewed and the video is shared with the company. By far, this is one of my FAVORITE parts of my job.
Even though the program has changed and evolved, one detail has remained stagnant from the HRQ; Advocate has a BIG weight issue (no pun intended). I have made it my goal at Advocate that above anything else, we would get outcomes in BMI improvement. In 2013, 64% of our at risk participants had at least one risk being BMI (the highest percentage of any risk). The 2014 program design provides customized targets to our participants to give them a “goal” to work toward in 2014 but not requiring it as an outcome. Specifically, each participant was given a goal of 3% improvement in BMI as well as other easily attainable goals to set for the other risk areas which are calculated and customized to the participants results. While we are still a month away from program close, our preliminary data already shows from time two screenings that the needle is moving. To date, we have documented 3006 lbs lost and 50% of our participants have reduction in risk. While 2014 is closing, 2015 is quickly approaching. In 2015, our program will require a BMI improvement of 3% in order to get a portion of the incentive money. The participants that have a healthe BMI will get the BMI portion of the incentive automatically to reward them for engaging in healthe behaviors.
Leadership (160 or less)
One of the most important components of a successful wellness program is leadership support. I like to tell other colleagues in the field, if you have leadership support you have the green light. To engage our leaders across the system we involve them in several different ways. Communications on the program (deadlines, upcoming events, etc.) are delivered to site mangers via a toolkit called MPAK. This piece is sent on a monthly basis to keep the managers and front line leaders adept to the program to communicate to their employees effectively. Monthly, a Healthe You Dashboard is delivered to the Site HR VP’s to inform them on what is happening at their site as well as let them know if they are meeting Key Result Area (KRA) goals. From site to site our system can be quite competitive, so this tool shows them where they stack up against other sites and pushes them to increase engagement. Another tool that is used is the president’s score card. This piece is presented to the presidents of each hospital site and encompasses many very important topics including: site participation, % at risk, cost per risk, # on Short Term Disability, # engaged in a lifestyle intervention, as well as risk score of overall site (to subliminally create that competition referenced earlier). Our newest addition to this category is a peer nominated award called "Healthe Champion". The Healthe You team carefully reviews nominations and chooses a winner from each site to recieve the award. The award ceremony is hosted by the CEO of Advocate and he individually delivers each award to the winners. We are really excited about this new addition!
Each site of care has a “Healthe Ambassador” which is a volunteer position. When the Ambassador program was created in 2012, the responsibilities fell on the 9 site HR representatives. The role of the Healthe Ambassador is to provide on-site support to the Healthe You Program and encourage engagement in the programs offered. In 2014, we decided we wanted to enhance and refresh our Ambassador program and began recruiting. The recruitment of Healthe Ambassadors was quite unique. The Healthe You team worked with each site's PR and marketing team's to email all associates at the site with an "Uncle Sam" type email stating "WE WANT YOU! to be a Healthe Ambassador!" It included content about the Ambassador program as well as the exciting features the program has to offer (including but not limited to: access to fun Healthe You Ambassador gear and first to know opportunities on the program). Today, there are upwards of 80 self-nominated Ambassadors that volunteer to help make our program even more successful and without them we wouldnt be able to reach the lives that we do.
Compelling Vision (150)
The strategy and vision of Healthe You will continue to be innovative and leading edge. When the program originated it was created with an eye toward holistic health. Little by little this vision is being accomplished, but still has a little ways to go. My vision for the program is that not only do we care about our participant's health and provide a plethora of tools to get them healthy, but we want to reach beyond the associate and into the homes of our participants, at some point even providing family wellness and support. I also see this program providing more of an ACO type model with an understanding that we care about you from the moment you step foot into our sites and forever from there. We will ensure that you have the right care at the right time beyond preventative, whether it be on maternity leave, returning from workers compensation/STD/LTD, financial health and preparing for retirement, and everything in between! I am confident that with my passion, as well as the passion of the volunteers and individuals that support our program everyday, that we will make this happen!