Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons has made a commitment to getting patients back to their healthy lifestyles as quickly as possible, with the best orthopaedic care possible. It was this promise to patients that got the physicians and administration team at DMOS thinking: If we make this promise to our patients, shouldn’t we make a wellness commitment to our staff too? And that’s exactly what this company of 200 employees did.
In 2014, DMOS offered free biometric screening to all employees. The turnout was resounding, and the results were not what the company expected. “We had four employees who considered themselves active and healthy individuals, yet found out during their biometric screening that they had high blood pressure,” said Michelle Banks, Human Resource Director at DMOS. “Now these employees are working with their primary care provider to get on medications to help control their blood pressure, as well as implement healthier food options. It was a major win for our company and for the employees.” And the company didn’t stop there. In January of 2014, DMOS kicked off a Biggest Winner competition, where weight loss, body fat percentage and BMI were tracked for 12 weeks by employees who elected to participate in the free program. Tools were provided to participants, such as daily wellness tips and monthly lunch and learns, all provided at no cost to the employee. The results? “It was incredible and inspiring to see employees commit to a change, and then have them see their hard work pay off,” said Kevin DeRonde, Corporate Administrator at DMOS. The winner ended up losing over 15 percent of their body weight in 12 weeks (and by the way, has kept it off for over nine months).
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To help employees sustain their healthy lifestyle, DMOS had to look at the biggest needs of the employees. The administrative team surveyed the company’s employees and asked them what their biggest obstacle was in terms of health and wellness. The resounding answer: time and balance. In the medical field, patients’ needs and the doctors’ schedule comes first. This means many meals on the go, or even no meal at all. This inspired the Wellness Team to take it one step further by offering a convenient healthy vending system. With their new system, employees can make informed choices by choosing “green” coded items, which means the selection is under 350 calories and meets designated dietary criteria, like fiber, fat and sodium amounts. Employees are able to track their purchases by creating an online account. And the company can see the top sellers. “Before our top sellers were primarily soda and candy, because that’s basically all we offered,” said Diann Halverson, Marketing and PR Coordinator. “Now our employees are choosing water, low fat milk, salads, string cheese and humus cups, amongst other healthy items. More importantly, employees are given healthy options that work with our business needs here, which is a win-win for everyone.”
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The company has lots of wellness plans for 2015, but 2014 served as a great starting point in helping Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons live out their goal of a healthy lifestyle, no matter what the obstacle!
***Special thanks to Diann Halverson and Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons for submitting this Iowa success story.