"HealthWorks:" Employee Wellness Programs
Education and counseling are important in managing one's health. Grand Valley Health Plan recognizes the value in prevention and health management, and therefore offers a variety of classes and programs that teach lifestyle management skills. Participants will improve their overall health, and reduce job-related stress and injury as well.
Employers realize that overall productivity is directly related to the physical and emotional health of their workforce. Productive employees result in a healthy bottom line. There are measurable results: lower healthcare cost, reduced absenteeism, higher productivity, reduced use of healthcare benefits, reduced injuries and increased morale and loyalty.
An overview of current Grand Valley Health Plan wellness classes and programs is outlined below. Grand Valley Health Plan can also tailor a program to meet the specific needs of your employees.
Health and Interest Survey
How do you begin an employee wellness program? Grand Valley Health Plan has developed a health and interest survey, which will help you better understand the health status of your workforce. The survey will identify specific health issues facing your employees. Programs can then be designed to meet specific employee needs. Employees will answer simple questions regarding their health, and Grand Valley Health Plan will evaluate the results and make recommendations.
65 million Americans have high cholesterol. Knowing your cholesterol level and how to lower it can lead to a longer, healthier life. The Grand Valley Health Plan Managing Your Cholesterol class is a two-hour class, presented by GVHP registered dietitians, to teach employees how to modify eating and activity habits. Employees learn how to improve blood cholesterol and lower their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Practical Stress Management
Stress can be directly related to health problems in today's fast-paced world, and your employees may be suffering the consequences. Grand Valley Health Plan offers a stress management class to help employees gain a better understanding of stress and how to effectively manage it. The focus is on reaching a balance between diet, time management, relaxation and exercise. This is a one-session class.
LEARN® Program for Weight Control
The LEARN® Program for Weight Control teaches employees how to lose weight and keep it off for good. LEARN® - Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships, and Nutrition - are essential components for permanent weight control. Dietitians, who are experts in nutrition and weight control, teach the program.
This series teaches participants to say good-bye to dieting forever by offering a non-diet approach to weight management. Participants learn to create healthy relationships with food, allowing them to reach a healthy weight.
Work-site Health Fair
Health fairs can be arranged to fit to any work schedule and can be customized to meet employees' health needs. Many screenings and health education options are available.
Freedom from Smoking Program
Freedom from Smoking is an eight-week group program. Each session is approximately 1 to 2 hours in length. The following is an outline of the program:
"Thinking About Quitting"
Participants will discuss the process involved in deciding to quit smoking.
Session One: "On the Road to Freedom."
- Understand smoking is a learned habit
- Review video on the health effects of smoking
- Learn stress management and relaxation techniques
- Build confidence and motivation
Session Two: "Wanting to Quit."
- Come to a deeper understanding of their smoking habit
- Find substitute behaviors for smoking
- Make specific plans to cope with trigger situations to help avoid relapse.
- Learn the "Buddy System"
- Watch a video on nicotine reduction therapy
- Prepare for quitting
Session Three: "Quit Day."
- Make a firm decision to live smoke free
- Learn about the experiences of quitting by ex-smokers
- Say good-bye to cigarettes
- Receive a bag of tools to help them get through the first few days of non-smoking
Session Four: "Winning Strategies" (two days later).
- Discuss recovery symptoms, both physical and psychological
- Discuss medical and non-medical benefits of quitting
- Spend time discussing particular problems, fears and successes
- Discuss the dynamics of stress and stress management techniques
Session Five: "The New You."
- Explore long-term strategies for maintaining a smoke-free lifestyle
- Discuss weight control issues and dealing with social situations
- Receive a maintenance manual for daily use
Session Six: "Staying Off."
- Continue discussing maintenance issues
- Learn to develop a new non-smoking self-image
- Discuss fitness and exercise
- Develop a plan to begin a walking program
- Learn assertive communication techniques
- Watch a video on changing lifestyles
Final Session: "Let's Celebrate."
- Celebrate one month since "Quit Day"
- Discuss the effects of secondhand smoke
- Talk about new non-smoking status
- Answer the questions, "How long do I have to work so hard?" and "When does this process get easier?"
- Receive a diploma, rate the program and have a party
There are many ways to quit smoking, but this program is the "cold turkey" method. The program does not advocate cutting down or tapering off. Participants have opportunities to practice alternatives to smoking before "Quit Day."
The success of this program depends on the participants' goals and willingness to work at the program. It is important that participants accept the principles offered and stick with them. The more closely the program is followed, the better the chances for success.
For more information on employee wellness programs, please call (616) 949-2410.