School District Honored For Employee Wellness Program

United Healthcare recently recognized the School District of Palm Beach County for implementing a successful workplace wellness program to improve the health and well-being of its employees.

The district is one of 10 organizations across the United States honored with a United Healthcare “Well Deserved” award for its year-long wellness program that produced a culture of wellness in the workplace.

The school district is a leader in worksite wellness and has achieved sustained results in helping employees to improve their own health and well-being. The district distinguished itself because:

• It is dedicated to providing employees and their families with the tools and resources that promote healthy behavioral change.

• More than 220 “Wellness Champions,” led by benefits manager Marilyn Boursiquot, district wellness coordinator Carlye Fabrikant and assistant wellness coordinator Alyssa Handeland, actively promote well-being and help employees get engaged in activities and challenges.

• It offers a variety of programs and delivery channels to meet individual needs, including reduced premiums for employees and their spouses who complete a biometric screening and an online health survey, as well as achieve biometric targets, or complete one of a variety of reasonable alternative programs. Participation rates have continued at high levels with 88 percent of the employees and 80 percent of their spouses/domestic partners participating in this program. There have also been improvements in all biometric markers year over year since 2015.

• The district also hosts Real Appeal, a virtual weight loss program, which has engaged more than 2,500 employees and their spouses/domestic partners, who’ve lost more than 11,500 pounds combined.

• All district campuses are tobacco-free, and the district has a comprehensive tobacco-free policy, a “quit kit” on the tobacco-free holidays, an employee surcharge for tobacco use, and onsite and community cessation classes.

Meanwhile, Gail Diedrick, the United Healthcare onsite nurse liaison, helps reach high-risk employees throughout the county and connects them to programs to meet their needs.

“The School District of Palm Beach County sets a great example of how organizations can support their employees’ desire to improve their health,” said Nicholas Zaffiris, CEO of United Healthcare of South Florida. “Most employees with access to wellness programs say they make a positive impact on their health, and employers may benefit as well from increased employee satisfaction, lower absenteeism, increased productivity and lower medical costs.”

This is United Healthcare’s ninth year of recognizing employers who demonstrate a commitment to improving their employees’ health and well-being through innovative wellness programs. United Healthcare worked with an external broker review panel to review and judge all Well Deserved award applicants.

“I’m proud to accept this award for our benefits and wellness program and the resulting cost savings we have been able to achieve,” said Dianne Howard, director of risk and benefits management for the School District of Palm Beach County. “I attribute our success to our employees who have embraced our culture of wellness, as well as all that have partnered and supported us in our efforts.”

A recent analysis by United Healthcare demonstrated that employees of Well Deserved award winners showed positive healthcare decision-making in key areas, including wellness and preventive screening compliance, selecting appropriate places of care, and using providers that rank highly in terms of quality care and cost-efficiency.