Baylor College of Medicine has been recognized as a 2016 Healthiest 100 Workplace in America for its commitment to employee health and exceptional wellness programming. This is the second year in a row Baylor has earned the honor, rising to No. 5 from No. 28 on the nationwide list.
Baylor and the other winning organizations were recognized at the annual Employer Healthcare and Benefits Congress in Washington, D.C., last month. Baylor was represented by Jesse Gavin, wellness program coordinator.
Award applicants were evaluated across six key categories of employee wellness: culture and leadership commitment, foundational components, annual planning, communications and marketing, programming and interventions, and reporting and analysis
Baylor launched its BCM BeWell program in 2013. About 55 percent of Baylor benefits-eligible employees participate in the initiative that incorporates health screenings, fitness challenges and events, health related workshops, financial fitness, webinars and more. Many of these activities are tied to a point-earning program powered by Vitality to which benefits-eligible employees have access. Points can qualify employees for a health insurance premium reduction and also can be redeemed for gift cards for fitness gear and other items. Baylor’s wellness program also collaborates with vendors such as United Health Care and Caremark on programs on healthy pregnancy, diabetes management and smoking cessation.
A unique aspect of BCM BeWell is its focus on collaboration across the college, said Robin Vickers, director of benefits – health, welfare and compliance. This includes DocTalk – informal presentations by Baylor doctors to employees on a variety of health and wellness topics, followed by a question-and-answer session.
“We are committed to engaging our employees in a variety of creative ways, including our step challenge that took us on a virtual walk to Florida in 2015 and to New York in 2016. We have many other initiatives as we continue to collaborate with other departments throughout the college,” Vickers said. “From the beginning, it has been our goal to integrate BCM BeWell into the culture of Baylor so that wellness is second nature to our employees.”
BCM BeWell wellness champions also are critical to the success of the program. These champions promote wellness throughout Baylor and help communicate the initiatives and events available through the program. They are able to do this because of their own success with BCM BeWell.
“I was regularly running and exercising previously, but the fitness tracker I got through BCM BeWell has really helped add motivation. Not only has it led me to ramp up my activities, but it has also had an impact on my family as they all now either have or want trackers of their own. My youngest son, who is fairly active anyway, has made it his goal to surpass my activity and has been successful so far,” said Bill Mohr, director of the project management office in the pediatrics department. “I’m happy to now promote the BCM BeWell opportunities to my colleagues.”
The Healthiest 100 is an awards program presented by Healthiest Employer, LLC, an analytics firm focused on population health and corporate wellness.