North Bay Business Journal

Monday, November 12, 2012, 6:00 am

2012 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay winner profiles


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    2012 Healthiest Companies in the North BayFrom nominations gathered over the summer and in September, The Business Journal selected 17 companies that will be honored the Journal’s 2012 Health Care Conference on Wednesday. [read more]

    2012 Health Care Conference

    In this report

    Experts on insurance, health care leaders at Journal conference

    2012 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay: Welcome

    2012 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay winner profiles

    • Agilent Technologies
    • Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc.
    • Exchange Bank
    • General Dynamics
    • Ghilotti Bros., Inc.
    • Kaiser Permanente Marin–Sonoma
    • LEMO USA
    • Nova Group, Inc.
    • Pacific Union College
    • Redwood Empire Schools Insurance Group
    • Redwood Regional Medical Group
    • Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery
    • St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County
    • Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation
    • Trinchero Family Estates/Sutter Home Winery
    • W. Bradley Electric
    • Wells Fargo Insurance Services
    Health Care Conference panelist Q&As

    Following are profiles of the 2012 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay in alphabetical order:

    Agilent Technologies 


    Creating a Campus Culture of Wellness

    SANTA ROSA — Agilent Technologies recognizes that employees are the reason for its success.

    By promoting health and wellness, the company facilitates a win/win process highlighted in its Global Health & Safety Initiative: “People Who Feel Good, Do Good.”

    The firm’s Electronic Measurement Group (EMG) in Santa Rosa, offers a wide range of onsite programs, including: employee gardening, a fitness center, 15 free classes each week, a wellness studio, par course, soccer and softball fields, ping pong tables, a basketball court and acres of space to walk, explore and enjoy the great outdoors.

    Vegetables grown in the employee garden are served at the company café. Several employees also participate in smoking cessation and stress management classes.

    “Our management team works very hard to emphasize and ensure that wellness is an integral part of campus life,” said EMG President Guy Sene.  

    “We want our employees to be in a position to decide to be healthier for themselves, their families and peers. The net result is that we have witnessed not only improved health, but also employees proud of their workplace and happy to be working at Agilent.”

    Mr. Sene said the importance of wellness is included in the Occupational Health Policy of the company. Its commitment to these goals can be observed throughout the facility.

    With a high level of accessibility, the majority of Agilent’s employees make the wellness choice resulting in a positive and more productive work environment.

    Some 80 percent of the firm’s 1,200 employees are involved in one or more of the firm’s dynamic health, fitness and wellness activities.

    Agilent employee garden

    Vegetables grown in the Agilent Technologies employee garden are served in the company cafe.

    “We’ve seen some individuals lose up to 70 lbs. while making new friendships during fitness classes and within groups doing their first marathons together,” according to HR Manager Shireen Donaldson.

    “Our objective is to provide an array of options, with the help of our wellness committee, that will appeal to a broad spectrum of employee interests and personal goals.”

       The company also promotes walking or biking to and from work while providing healthy choices in its vending machines, and offering subsidies for employee memberships in offsite gyms.

    Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc.


    Providing Life-Changing Incentives 

    Seventeen Burr Pilger Mayer employees enjoy a bike ride through the San Francisco waterfront.

    SANTA ROSA — In addition to BPM’s comprehensive health package including medical, dental and vision plans, the firm’s confidential wellness program offers employees access to online coaches, health educational materials and a variety of challenging personal opportunities.

       These challenges can be anything from participation in community Heart Walks, the Bay to Breakers Race, weight reduction classes or even responding to water break reminders.

    Registered nurses visit all five BPM offices each year to perform biometric tests for those who volunteer.

    “Wellbeing affects all aspects of our lives. We believe in a work-life balance but know that in public accounting, that are many things that can get in the way,” said Carol O’Hara, managing shareholder of North Bay Offices for BPM.

    She emphasized the importance of enabling employees to stay fit in the workplace, reduce stress and help them concentrate on taking better care of themselves.

    “If we can reduce the number of healthcare claims through a wellness program, we won’t have to pass premium increases along to employees.”

    At least 20 workers have shed excess pounds through the firm’s weight reduction plan. For half of this group, the results were so dramatic they became life-changing events.

    “We frequently see our people taking walking breaks, having walking meetings or just stretching at their desks,” said Beth Baldwin, director of human resources.

    “BPM also offers employees and their families discounted memberships at a 24 Hour Fitness Club and flex hours so they can work around family or school schedules.”

    She said educating everyone who orders food has been very effective. They are aware of the wellness program and adhere to guidelines the company has provided about healthy eating.

    “We traded pizza, chips, sodas, etc., for salads, sandwiches, seltzer water and other healthy choices served at a majority of our functions.”

       BPM provides its workers with free healthy snacks, fresh fruit, nuts, trail mix and non-carbonated beverages.

    The company has an online tool for tracking involvement in the BPM “Wellness Through Worksite Wellness” Program and provides incentives for those participating.

    “Employees have said they really like the incentives for doing things that they should already be doing for themselves,” Ms. Baldwin said.  

    “If we can make even a small number of our employees aware of how their well-being affects all aspects of their lives — it’s worth it.”

    Almost half of BPM’s 400 employees participate in company wellness programs.

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