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Published on January 09, 2018

NKCH Wellness Program Aims to Build Healthy Workforces

Wellness LogoNorth Kansas City Hospital recently launched NKCH Wellness, an employee wellness program that helps area employers build healthier workforces through programming customized to fit the needs of specific employee health populations.

The services meet a growing market demand for a proactive employee wellness component to complement the hospital’s 15-year occupational health program, which provides comprehensive workers’ compensation services through the Meritas Health Occupational Health Clinic and NKCH Emergency Department.

“With insurers calling on employers to take on additional health insurance costs, employers are seeking ways to improve the health of their workforces, which directly and indirectly impacts the bottom line,” said Randee Gannon, vice president of Marketing and Community Wellness. “In addition to providing acute care to their injured workers, now we have a role in helping prevent injuries and identifying and managing chronic conditions. This translates into more meaningful relationships and a broader continuum of care in our community.”

Motivating Change

Source of Referrals

Expected to be a solid referral source for NKCH’s physicians, NKCH Wellness health screenings include:

  • Calcium scoring cardio scans and mammograms
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Cholesterol and blood sugar checks
  • Height, weight, waist circumference and BMI measurements

NKCH Wellness provides on-site health screenings, health coaching and other wellness services to employees. In addition to improving health behaviors, wellness programs help decrease absenteeism, increase productivity, boost recruitment and retention, and manage healthcare costs. The NKCH Wellness range of offerings includes on-site and hospital-based health screenings, biometric screenings, preventive vaccinations, health coaching, health risk assessments, a customizable employee portal, group and personal challenges, and a health library.

Health coaches use evidence-based strategies to create individualized wellness plans for employees that include:

  • On-site, one-on-one, employee-centered, motivational coaching
  • Strategies for self-managing chronic conditions
  • Realistic goals for improving overall health
  • Insight into how employees can benefit from healthcare services and provider referrals

Two early NKCH Wellness clients are the City of Kansas City, MO, and the City of North Kansas City, MO. Kansas City offers its 4,500 employees blood pressure screenings and calcium scoring cardio scans. In 2018, North Kansas City will offer its 166 employees access to the portal and health coaching services.

Complementary Programs

In addition to wellness services, NKCH’s Occupational Health and Employer Wellness department comprises two other employer-focused components:

  • Workers’ compensation: Employees injured on the job receive 24/7 care in the hospital’s Emergency Department and follow-up care and physical therapy in the Meritas Health Occupational Medicine Clinic, as well as referrals to NKCH specialists when needed.
  • Occupational medicine: Employees receive physicals, pre-employment drug screenings and other personalized employer-required assessments.

NKCH and Meritas Health continue to develop initiatives to meet market demand for workers’ compensation, occupational health and employee wellness services. In October 2017, Robert R. Brown, DO, joined Tyann Hamedi, MD, and Phil Ryan, DO, at Meritas Health Occupational Medicine. In 2018, the practice will add a second clinic in Riverside, Missouri.