HMH Employee Health and Wellness program touted for improving, saving lives

Hardin Memorial Health’s (HMH) Employee Health Team is realizing positive and even life-saving results from its comprehensive health and wellness program. On Tuesday, the HMH Employee “Health Matters Here” Health Team shared the progress and program’s impact with the HMH Board of Trustees during its August meeting.

According to HMH Employee Health and Wellness Manager Melissa Griffin, employee health screening labs revealed previously undiagnosed diabetes, infections, thyroid disorders and even leukemia.

“We know that early detection and early treatment is better for any patient,” said Griffin, a registered nurse. “We are so glad to be able to provide this service to our employees.”

Griffin also shared testimonials from employees who participate in HMH’s activity-based wellness platform, Jiff. Jiff challenges insured employees to track steps, food and sleep and to get annual physical and health screening labs in return for lower insurance premiums or prizes.

“Many of our employees take part in Jiff to realize a cost savings or get prizes, but health benefits are the best outcome,” said Griffin.

Those benefiting include HMH team members Michael and Kimberly Wagner.

Kimberly, who works in HMH Environmental Services, found out that she has diabetes and started the Jiff program to improve her health and lower her premiums. She encouraged her husband Michael, who works in HMH Food and Nutrition Services, to do the same. After losing a combined 40 pounds, they praised the HMH program for more than just the cost savings.

“I thank HMH for getting this program started,” said Kimberly Wagner. “I have controlled my diabetes.”

Her husband Michael echoed her gratitude.

“I am so happy that HMH is concerned about our team’s health,” he said.

HMH Pharmacist Frieda Hutchins along with HMH Employee Safety and Injury Prevention Nurse Sierra Goldsmith attended the Board meeting to share details about the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program and HMH’s safety and injury prevention efforts.

Through the MTM program, pharmacists provide individualized counseling to employees.

“Knowing the importance of timing, frequency and drug interactions, even with over-the-counter medications, is critical,” said Hutchins. “We want to make sure our employees maximize their medication’s benefits.”

Goldsmith, also a registered nurse, said HMH sought input from all offices and departments on safety concerns. As a result of the collaboration, HMH experienced a decline in workplace injuries while the number of employees grew.

“It was a total team effort,” said Goldsmith. “We cannot be everywhere in the system, so employee input is incredibly valuable in fostering a safe workplace.”

Griffin said implementing these services (health screening labs, Jiff Wellness Platform, safety and injury prevention and MTM) resulted in HMH receiving a Silver Award from the Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville earlier this year.

HMH Vice President and Chief Human Resources Myra Covault said all the programs and services contribute to employee satisfaction and retention, and they help HMH manage costs.

“As the region’s healthcare leader, we serve as an employee health model,” said Covault. “In order to provide the very best patient care, we need to keep our employees happy and healthy.”