s
s
Sections
Sections
Subscribe

From 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]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 profilesAgilent TechnologiesBurr Pilger Mayer, Inc.page 2Exchange BankGeneral Dynamicspage 3Ghilotti Bros., Inc.Kaiser Permanente Marin--Sonomapage 4LEMO USANova Group, Inc.page 5Pacific Union CollegeRedwood Empire Schools Insurance Grouppage 6Redwood Regional Medical GroupSanta Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgerypage 7St. Joseph Health, Sonoma CountySutter Pacific Medical Foundationpage 8Trinchero Family Estates/Sutter Home WineryW. Bradley ElectricWells Fargo Insurance ServicesHealth Care Conference panelist Q&AsJohn Fradelizio, Wells Fargo Insurance ServicesRick Heron, Western Health AdvantageDavid Hodges, Vantreo Insurance BrokerageDennis Lum, Kaiser PermanenteVictor McKnight, EPIC Insurance BrokersMichael Parr, NorthWest Insurance AgencyMike Purvis, Sutter Medical Center of Santa RosaTodd Salnas, St. Joseph Health, Sonoma CountyJim Settles, Woodruff Saywer & Co.

Following are profiles of the 2012 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay in alphabetical order:Agilent Technologies SECOND TIME WINNERCreating 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 cafe. 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.

[caption id="attachment_64636" align="alignleft" width="292"] Vegetables grown in the Agilent Technologies employee garden are served in the company cafe.[/caption]

“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. FIRST TIME WINNERProviding Life-Changing Incentives 

[caption id="attachment_64637" align="alignright" width="359"] Seventeen Burr Pilger Mayer employees enjoy a bike ride through the San Francisco waterfront.[/caption]

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.Exchange Bank   FIRST TIME WINNERScreenings As a Path to Prevention

[caption id="attachment_64638" align="alignright" width="350"] Exchange Bank staffers participate in the Human Race.[/caption]

 SANTA ROSA -- Reducing employee health risks and absenteeism, while providing a healthy work environment, are just some of the reasons behind Exchange Bank’s “Every Body Benefits” wellness program designed to provide every employee with meaningful and topical wellness information and health screenings.

In addition to health-focused inserts in payroll envelopes, employees have access to the “Today@EB” company newsletter containing wellness and fitness-related articles, as well as giveaways with a health theme. 

   The bank sponsors a number of no-charge health screening days to check cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose in addition to a health risk assessment -- with a $50 incentive to the first 150 participants.

It also offers free on-site flu shots for employees and dependents (and will reimburse up to $25 per vaccination if the flu shot is obtained elsewhere).

Exchange Bank’s “Every Body Benefits” program caught the attention of Kaiser Permanente, Exchange Bank’s medical carrier, and was included in Kaiser’s HealthyWorks program for 2012.   

“In addition to hosting on-site wellness events, we also sponsor competitions. In a partnership with Kaiser, we were able to expand our wellness program to include additional incentives designed get employees excited about taking care of their health,” said President and CEO Bill Schrader.  “We want to make it fun.”

One of these incentives during 2012 was the launch of Thrive Across America, an exciting eight-week exercise competition that appealed to a majority of employees.

“We had phenomenal participation with 286 of our 425 employees divided into 34 teams logging a total of 10,780 hours of exercise,” Mr. Schrader added.

This event included participants from the teller line all the way up to the CEO and, according to Lori Zaret, SVP and chief human resources officer, “You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing which team was in the lead.” 

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has recognized Exchange Bank as a gold level employer in the EDB’s Healthy Business Recognition Program.

“It’s important for us to provide support and motivation for our employees to lead healthier lifestyles. All of these programs help us reduce benefits-related costs, minimize time away from work and demonstrate our commitment to our employees.  When we all take steps to be healthy, Every Body Benefits,” Ms. Zaret said.General Dynamics - OTS Healdsburg OperationFIRST TIME WINNERFostering a Healthier Workforce

[caption id="attachment_64639" align="alignright" width="393"] Several General Dynamics-OTS Healdsburg Operations staffers compete in the Gran Fondo.[/caption]

 HEALDSBURG -- “By offering a series of workplace wellness and related programs we have been able to foster a sense of team, health, nutrition, accountability and accomplishment among our 200 employees,” said Rich Schroeder, general manager of the GD-OTS Healdsburg Operation.  

“We want to do all we can to support these activities to help reduce employee health risks while also taking positive steps to improve productivity.”

The company is a premier developer, manufacturer and integrator of electro-mechanical servo-control actuation systems for the United States Armed Forces. Over the years the facility has developed a wide range of high power density servo systems with applications on land, sea and in the air.

The GD-OTS Healdsburg Operation has also developed a robust health and wellness umbrella program that includes group run and walk training as well as team cycling and field sports.

“We also have fresh fruit delivered twice a week for our employees and select from a variety of healthy food choices at catered meetings,” said Sarah Gevirtz, manager of human resources and organizational development.

The company organized softball and soccer teams, weekly bicycle rides at lunch, and sponsors an annual golf tournament. Subsidized health club memberships are available as well as on-site flu shots and sit-or-stand desk ergonomic options.

The workforce as a whole is also concerned about the health of others in the community and many donate blood two times a year.

“We have a healthier group of workers than ever before. Employees who had never run or cycled have participated in recent triathlons, team sports, marathons and significant cycling events,” Mr. Schroeder said.

For example, GD-OTS Healdsburg Operation had four relay teams and three individuals who took part in all three legs of the recent Ukiah Triathlon and several employees who signed up for their first 5K event.

   “As employees have participated in cycling events -- such as the Wine Country Century and Gran Fondo -- their example led to the expansion of employee participation in other group events including our golf tournament, team sports, attendance at brown bag nutrition lunch forums and has contributed to a rise in the number of memberships in a local health club,” according to Ms. Gevirtz.   Ghilotti Bros., Inc.   SECOND TIME WINNERLiving Healthier, MoreResponsible Lives

[caption id="attachment_64640" align="alignright" width="315"] Ghilotti Bros. workers hike a scenic trail on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais[/caption]

    SAN RAFAEL -- In a letter to all workers, Ghilotti Bros. top management team advised employees of the firm’s vision to transform the company’s culture into a more healthful model.

   In October 2011, Ghilotti’s comprehensive Wellsteps Wellness Program was introduced as a way to help everyone learn how to live healthier and more responsible lifestyles.

“The health of our employees is important to us. We invited our workers and their families to join us in activities that involve making informed choices, and by instilling a spirit of teamwork both at work and home -- while having fun in the process,” said President Michael Ghilotti.

The Wellsteps Program, coordinated by employees, has been a great success with participation across the board by representatives from each department.

Recent Wellsteps quarterly campaigns have had titles such as Veggie Up, Stress Free and Move It.

“Over the last several years, and prior to the start of our Wellsteps Wellness Program, we conducted informal wellness-related activities including bi-annual biometric screenings, a stretch and flex program, lunchtime seminars, in-house health fairs as well as sponsoring both softball and basketball teams. The success of these early initiatives led to the launch of Wellsteps,” said Stephanie Taylor, human resources generalist.

The Wellness Committee set program goals that included increasing involvement by 10 percent each quarter, an objective the firm has consistently met.

The company recently added an onsite fitness room, called GYMlotti, and organizes monthly trips to the Marin Farmer’s Market where employees can obtain fresh vegetables and fruit.

   “We discovered that, in most cases, even the smallest changes in a person’s daily routine can have a substantial impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing,” Mr. Ghilotti said.

“Our mission is to do all we can to help our employees identify these opportunities and put them into practice.”

Ghilotti Bros., Inc., a general engineering contractor based in San Rafael, has been in business since 1910. The company has self-performed numerous infrastructure, heavy highway, site development, aviation, rail, and marine-related projects throughout the Bay Area.Kaiser Permanente, Marin/Sonoma AreaSECOND TIME WINNERFocusing on Employee Health and Wellness

[caption id="attachment_64641" align="alignright" width="400"] Outdoor exercise classes are popular among Kaiser Permanente employees.[/caption]

MARIN, SONOMA COUNTIES --Kaiser Permanente’s award winning “Live Well Be Well” program is strategically designed to encourage, inspire and motivate employees to focus on their own health and wellness.  More than 250 services are offered to employees and family members alike.

“Kaiser is dedicated to being the healthiest place to work and to receive care. Live Well Be Well leverages our integrated health care delivery model, advanced technology systems, clinical excellence and health promotion expertise to provide both onsite and online services,” said Judy Coffey, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president and area manager for Marin and Sonoma Counties.

“Some of these services are also available by telephone to our employees.”

She said the various physical and other activities encompassed in this program build community within our workforce, improve communication, enhance mental health and establish a sense of effectiveness.

Participation has doubled in the past two years. 

“A variety of walking programs continue to grow in popularity as many departments and units form teams and support each other,” said Rudy Collins, human resources leader at Kaiser.

He said weight reduction programs are popular and sustainability rates have increased.  In addition, healthy food choices in the cafeteria and vending machines are selling well.

Kaiser hosts farmer’s markets on campus and provides transportation to others nearby.  Sales of fresh produce have been brisk.

Six major categories comprise the Live Well Be Well campaign -- healthy eating, physical activity, prevention, emotional health and wellness, healthy workplace, and healthy community. There is a menu of options employees can choose from within each category.

According to company sources, many employees have made significant lifestyle changes that have been maintained over time, resulting in decreases in blood pressure and weight.

Some employees have been able to eliminate the need for blood pressure and diabetes medicine by being active participants in this program.  

Kaiser’s Northern California region was the recipient of 17 California Fit Business Awards by the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness. These awards, under the California Department of Health, celebrate innovations and excellence in creating a healthy workplace environment.LEMO USA, Inc.SECOND TIME WINNERHelping Employees Stay Connected With their Health

[caption id="attachment_64642" align="alignleft" width="384"] Bike breaks are part of a lunchtime routine at LEMO USA, Inc.[/caption]

ROHNERT PARK -- At LEMO USA, management and workers believe they are more productive when they all work together and when everyone is healthy. This objective is reflected in the company motto:  “Stay Connected With Your Health.”

“We strive to incorporate as many healthy and fun activities as possible in the workplace,” said President Dean Pohwala. “Seventy-seven percent of our 98 employees are actively involved in company programs devoted to their wellbeing.”

Every employee is encouraged to engage in the Pedometer Steps program where they count the number of steps taken daily. Totals are turned into miles walked and connected to a map of the U.S. 

“The goal is to see how many of our people can symbolically walk from Rohnert Park to Florida and back,” said Debbie Raike, human resources manager. “Those involved can win a “Hoodlie” with a printed health theme message by submitting raffle tickets for a monthly drawing.”

On the second Wednesday of every month, employees are urged to go on a short bike ride during the noon lunch hour. Then, on the third Wednesday of the month employees are encouraged to take a longer ride.

The company’s Healthy Lunch and Snack Program brings healthy meals into the workplace, including organic soups and fat-free snacks.  Fresh fruit (apples, oranges and bananas) are delivered for all employees every Monday morning. A LEMO healthy cookbook, “LEMO Bytes” is in progress.

“We place posters in our lobby addressing the latest health topics and provide annual flu shots to all employees who wish to participate,” Ms. Raike added.  “Employees also take part in various walks to raise funds for heart disease, Crohn’s disease and Colitis research and prevention.”

The company pays 50 percent of monthly dues for each employee’s gym membership and offers a variety of action games (ping pong, basketball and darts) within its facility.

LEMO USA is the original push-pull connector company designing and manufacturing precision custom connection solutions for medical, industrial and telecommunications applications. Nova Group, Inc.FIRST TIME WINNERMaking Healthy Choices

[caption id="attachment_64643" align="alignright" width="315"] Nova Group Engineer Alvin Li running in the firm’s “Novathon” race.[/caption]

 NAPA -- Since the inception of Nova Group’s wellness program two years ago, the company has steadily increased opportunities for its employees and their spouses to take advantage of physical activities as well as ways to learn more about their personal health and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Nova began with a nature/fitness trail concept with incentives to increase use.  Annual “Novathons” are held where employees walk or run to raise money for charities and educational institutions of their choice -- with Nova matching employee dollars raised.

“Balloons are given to employees clocking 100 miles on the trail and points are awarded for the growing number of those making healthy life choices,” said Vice President Carole Bionda.

“There have been visible weight and inches lost by those participating. Some employees have lost 12 inches and 10 pounds as a result of the Nova sponsored diet and exercise programs -- and we also have lunchtime exercise groups.”

She said a number of employees have reported lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol results.

At each health fair, more employees are lining up at all the booths, not just for the free massage.

Healthy food choices in vending machines are provided to employees at no cost.

A new “Three Steps to Wellness” plan consists of biometric screening, completion of a risk assessment, and a consultation with a health care provider that reviews results of the screening and assessment.

Employees can receive up to $600 per year in cash rewards by taking part in a multitude of wellness activities, such as annual physicals, preventive medicine and dental care, personal exercise logs while using the nature/fitness trail and pedometers, lunch and learn seminars, and group wellness challenges including Cross Fit, tobacco cessation, weight loss programs and gym memberships.

“Our employees are positively engaged in the program and enjoying themselves in the process,” said Ronald Fedrick, CEO of this engineering contracting firm. “We owe it to our employees to provide both a safe and healthy workplace.”

“The most noticeable result is the active engagement of so many of our people, from hourly and craft workers to salaried and administrative people. There is active competition to make healthy life choices,” he said.

Forty percent of Nova’s employees participate in physical activities and 80 percent have volunteered for biometric testing.

Pacific Union CollegeFIRST TIME WINNERSupporting Mind, Body and Spirit

[caption id="attachment_64644" align="alignright" width="328"] Pacific Union College staffers climb stairs with exercise balls.[/caption]

ANGWIN -- PUC is considered to be a trendsetter when it comes to employee wellness and health. Since 1997 the college has provided employees with free onsite health screenings, health risk assessments with multi-year progress reports, as well as a variety of health education opportunities.

Some 85-90 percent of PUC’s 350 employees regularly participate in this program.

“We work in a faith community that acknowledges our Creator’s wisdom in weaving each person into a seamless combination of mind, body and spirit,” said PUC President Heather Knight. 

“We believe in supporting employees desires to live holistically and achieve balance in their lives, excellence in their jobs, as well as in having a positive influence upon co-workers and the students we serve.”

PUC’s Wellness Incentive Program includes healthcare coverage that is both prevention promoting and affordable.

The result: Employees have 27 percent fewer health risks than the national average -- and many adhere to a vegetarian diet.

Incentives include an “Inertia Initiative” in which teams from every department rack up miles, days or hours of exercise. Winning teams compete for the ultimate award -- a visit from a professional therapist for free, 15-minutes massages.

The Lunch and Learn Series in 2012 offers 40-minute demonstrations by Executive Chef Sharon Christensen of the Vegan Academy on “Juicing 101 -- Why and How” as well as “Great Greens -- Preparing Them Healthy and Tasty” and “Cancer-Fighting Foods.”

PUC’s Wellness Studio for employees is devoted to fitness classes and also serves as a quiet, private exercise space, as a massage studio or power-napping venue. Each month a CMT is contracted to spend the day giving 15-minute massages to employees.

   Exercise balls, DVDs, Yoga mats, and small hand weights are available for drop in workouts.

   “We invited the Archibald Fitness Boot Camp team to come in and conduct small group classes four times a week starting last March with tuition reimbursement at 50 percent for those attending at least three sessions a week,” said Director of Human Resources Gaylin Bowers.

For those seeking a more playful regimen, Yoga, Martial Arts and Zumba classes are offered weekly.

The PUC Health Services Clinic is available to staff and faculty for quarterly physician visits providing preventive health exams and free flu shots.

“I feel blessed to work in an environment where our administration values every employee and is willing to invest the necessary resources in them. It helps make PUC the healthiest place to work in Northern California,” Mr. Bowers added.Redwood Empire Schools Insurance Group (RESIG)FIRST TIME WINNERAdopting Healthy Behaviors

[caption id="attachment_64645" align="alignleft" width="352"] Employees create wholesome dishes at the RESIG Healthy Chef Cookoff.[/caption]

WINDSOR -- RESIG is a Joint Powers Authority that provides insurance services to the 40 public school districts in Sonoma County.

“We view ourselves as a role model for our member districts. We also encourage employees to maintain healthy lifestyles by adopting healthy behaviors that reduce stress, promote mental and physical well-being and support proper eating habits through a variety of methods and strategies,” said Paul McKay, executive director.

”Since 2009 RESIG has continued to offer a robust wellness program designed to show employees how to have a healthier, happier life and potentially impact our health care premiums and minimize workers compensation exposure.”

RESIG provides motivational speakers to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, weight loss, proper ergonomics and fitness programs.

“Our company offers all of these activities with a very limited budget and with support from employee volunteers,” said Rose Burcina, director of employee benefits.

“RESIG also partners with insurance carriers, wellness vendors and health care professionals to promote wellness programs and incentives to motivate employees to participate, and schools to imitate what we do.”

The firm shares its best practices and information with all school districts in Sonoma County as is always willing to help them start their own programs and health fairs.

Healthy snacks are provided every week and nutritious food and beverages are served at meetings and training sessions.  There are Yoga and Pilate’s classes, stretching and walking breaks, as well as a wellness room to de-stress. Employees can also take advantage of self-paid massage sessions.

There are fun events for everyone, such as Wii bowling, March Madness, a Healthy Chef Cook-off, and Healthy Heart Month.

Other activities include Bike to Lunch, 10,000 Steps and field trips to Whole Foods to learn about healthy eating options. Eating Well and Prevention Magazines are available in the break room.

As a result, RESIG has experienced a steady increase in participation and employee engagement in these wellness projects.

Redwood Regional Medical GroupSECOND TIME WINNERPrioritizing Personal Health

[caption id="attachment_64646" align="alignright" width="360"] A group of Redwood Regional Medical Group employees ran in a Team in Training 10k race in Marin County.[/caption]

 SANTA ROSA -- Redwood’s Live Well Work Well program (LWWW) encourages physical and mental wellbeing by asking employees to make their personal health a top priority.

“The success of our organization depends upon productivity, work performance and the daily engagement of our workforce,” said CEO Wayne Fairchild. 

“When employees care about themselves, it enhances their ability to care for our patients. Employees who are healthier, or have raised their consciousness and are working to become healthier, have proven to lead more productive lives.”

In addition, non-clinical participants have been found to more readily take part in work-based teamwork that reflects the spirit of the LWWW concept.

Redwood believes that workplace wellness is important to the overall health of the organization because it also impacts presenteeism, aids in reducing serious health claims and raises awareness of “community,” both internally and externally.

The company sponsors worksite walking groups, afterhours Light the Night walks, and a program for new runners who learned to run with Team in Training.

The firm has seen more attention to annual dental appointments, raised awareness about the consumption of healthy fats, an increase in visits to state and federal parks -- and even more rope jumping.

“When we conducted a free annual biometric screening at our firm, results reflected a higher than average propensity for pre-diabetes. Our awareness programs have increased the need to monitor cholesterol and glucose readings, and have shown employees how to maintain or improve them,” said Lynn Cibrian, human resources generalist.

While participation in the screening program is anonymous, one employee volunteered that with adherence to the LWWW program, she moved her numbers into an acceptable range.

“We hope to see a collective shift in the screening numbers in January when employees have the opportunity to be tested again,” Ms. Cibrian said.Santa Rosa/Rohnert Park Oral SurgeryFIRST TIME WINNERPaying Attention to Diet and Exercise

[caption id="attachment_64647" align="alignright" width="360"] Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery employees share a Day at the Races.[/caption]

 SANTA ROSA/ROHNERT PARK -- This oral surgery group with two office locations is celebrating the second anniversary of its employee wellness program, and results are outstanding.  For example, the company has seen its absenteeism rate become virtually non-existent.

“The energy level of our employees these days is fantastic,” according to Office Manager Toni Bonelli. 

“Employees have bonded through healthy activities, gym memberships, exercise classes and runs. Collectively, the organization has lost many pounds and shares an affinity for healthy eating habits.”

The company found that employees who pay attention to their diet and exercise frequently are definitely healthier.

“These days the work week is not interrupted by illness.  Everyone seems to be getting along better when we are all feeling great,” Ms. Bonelli said.

“It is rewarding to feel that you have helped employees make positive changes that will have a life long effect.”

The wellness program has also resulted in decreased sick time, better camaraderie between employees and enhanced relationships with management. 

One employee observed that since the wellness program was introduced, the day-to-day drama in the office has disappeared.

“I believe that when people are busy and feel good about themselves, they spend less time focusing on the weaknesses of others. It has been an all-around positive experience for us.”

Since 1950, Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery has been dedicated to providing excellent oral surgical care for Sonoma County and the North Bay.

The surgery group’s professional offices are located at 1174 Montgomery Drive in Santa Rosa and at 1350 Medical Center Drive in Rohnert Park.

Drs. Jack Tolin, Leonard Tyko, Tony Chu and Christopher Daniel pair their experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery with a genuine concern for their patients as well as their 20 employees.

Eighty percent of the staff participates in one or more components of the wellness program.

St. Joseph Health, Sonoma CountySECOND TIME WINNERSupporting Staff Wellness Goals

[caption id="attachment_64648" align="alignleft" width="360"] Workers bike to work as part of the St. Joseph Health Choose Well program.[/caption]

 SANTA ROSA -- “St. Joseph Health’s commitment to improving and maintaining workforce health continues to grow as a result of our multi-pronged Choose Well program,” according to President Todd Salnas.

Employees at the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Petaluma Valley Hospital participated in annual Wellness Fairs held over a six-day period at four locations. A total of 669 employees and physicians attended.

These fairs featured biometric screenings and an online Well-Being Assessments made possible when computer labs were opened so employees could complete forms onsite.

A second screening series was held in October at six area sites. Some 1,696 individuals were assessed, or 55 percent of benefit-eligible employees.

   “In August we expanded eligibility for Well-Being Assessment and our Virgin HealthMiles pedometer and exercise incentive program to all relief and per diem employees,” said Debra Miller, vice president of human resources.

Last January physicians were invited to participate in the Family & Friends “Get Active” Virgin Health program. Fifty-eight doctors were enrolled for a nominal monthly fee of $2.75. The hospital provided the pedometers at no cost.

“We held a two-week Northern Regional Challenge in April to pit different St. Joseph branches against each other in a friendly HealthMiles competition to see which one would accumulate the most exercise steps. Some 437 employees participated and logged an average of 9,922 steps daily (total steps after two weeks reached 60.7 million).  Sonoma County won first place,” Ms. Miller said.

Of the organization’s 2,239 staff members in Sonoma County, 1,005 are enrolled in the Virgin HealthMiles pedometer program.

Memorial Hospital also sponsors a 16-week weight management program. To date, 37 employees have completed the course. 

   There is also a twice a week Weight Watchers At-Work pilot program at this location, offered through Choose Well. Half of the cost is paid by St. Joseph Health-Sonoma County. Collectively, participants have lost a total of 516 pounds during the 24-week program.

St. Joseph Health arranges for fresh farmer’s market produce to be brought into the hospital through the cafeteria and made available for sale.

The Life Learning Center offers free wellness classes to employees and members of the community.

Company employees receive discounts and incentives at local health clubs. Vending machines offer low fat and vegetarian food options during hours when hot meal service is not available.

Vegetarian and heart-healthy items are also on the menu each day at company cafeterias in Santa Rosa and Petaluma.Sutter Pacific Medical FoundationFIRST TIME WINNERIncreasing Employee Engagement at Work

[caption id="attachment_64649" align="alignright" width="360"] Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation employees avoid the elevators and take the stairs.[/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- Workplace wellness is important to every type of business, but especially healthcare.   

“We believe that participation in our program increases job satisfaction, personal health and team performance among our 250 employees,” said John Ray, CAO of the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation.

“Our patients benefit from this as well by interacting with a health-focused staff and providers.  It is also a great way to increase employee engagement in the workplace.”

Employee involvement in physical activities went up after the foundation offered a number of wellness contests.

For example, the Stride and Pride program involves some 300 pedometers used by staff members, their friends and families use to accumulate steps after work and on weekends to collect points for their teams.

This three-month contest recognized several categories of achievers. The most improved individual increased activity by 392 percent. The most improved team increased its steps by 151 percent.

The top individual stepper had a grand total of 1,872,759 steps, and the top team recorded 9,205,495.

The i-Walk Challenge last May included 22 Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation teams formed in Sonoma and Lake Counties. More employees also can be seen taking the stairs these days instead of elevators.

“We found that we have an overall positive effect on community health through improvements in our own lifestyle choices,” said Dawn Hentrix, human resources support specialist.

Employees started to talk about their participation in these programs to patients, serving as models for better health.

“We have also begun to offer reduced price access to Integrated Health Services for our employees such as massage an acupuncture to address stress reduction in daily life,” she added.

Many company offices have noticed improved teamwork as a result of this program along with positive worksite engagement and collegial interaction among workgroups and at informal potlucks.

Trinchero Family Estates / Sutter Home WinerySECOND TIME WINNERRewarding Healthy Behavior Enhances Success

[caption id="attachment_64650" align="alignleft" width="324"] Trinchero employees participate in the acticipated Walk the Talk Challenge.[/caption]

NAPA -- A successful wellness program begins with corporate support -- and Trinchero has it.

The company’s “Vines to Vitality” wellness program began in October 2008 when Trinchero began providing onsite biometric screenings, health assessments, wellness coaching and individual and team challenges (such as activity tracking devices) -- as well as by offering incentives to reward healthy behavior.

“The health and wellbeing of all of our team members continues to be a core value of our organization,” said Tom O’Brien, vice president of human resources.

“We are committed to supporting and encouraging preventative care and have partnered with Healthyroads to administer our wellness program.”

He has seen solid evidence that as employees have the resources available to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle, their productivity increases and this, in turn, improves the success of Trinchero.

Furthermore, as employees have taken proactive measures to manage their health, this has led to a reduction in the company’s overall healthcare expenses.

“As part of our company-paid biometric screening, outreach was given to any employee who had out-of-range results to encourage follow up with a health professional,” said Linda Hansen, senior human resources, manager.

Trinchero also has a pedometer program that provides incentives for those who meet step goals using advanced pedometer technology that tracks steps automatically and uploads data to the employee’s personal web page. Antennas were placed in production areas so all non-computer users could also participate.

“The incentives we provide encourage our staff members to live healthier and many have expressed their appreciation for having this program -- with a few making significant changes in how they live and meet weight-loss goals,” Ms. Hansen said.

Companywide participation in Trinchero’s Vines to Vitality program in 2011 was 40 percent.  One year later this figure increased to 58 percent, or 452 of the firm’s 780 employees.W. Bradley Electric, Inc.SECOND TIME WINNEREnjoying Coming to Work

[caption id="attachment_64651" align="alignright" width="320"] WBE workers test each other’s strength in an arm-wrestling contest.[/caption]

NOVATO -- A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to start after 5 p.m. 

“We recognize the importance of encouraging our people to find a healthy balance in both their personal and work lives,” said Laura Masset, executive director of human resources.

“By having a wellness program at work, we created a supportive environment that empowers our 215 employees, with our permission, to take care of themselves throughout the day.

She describes WBE’s “Sonic Boom Wellness Program” (an approach that helps employees reach various health goals) as creating a playful and family-oriented and supportive atmosphere throughout the company.

WBE provides employee massages during working hours. There are healthy morning snacks and afternoon fruit breaks.  Ping Pong tournaments promote teamwork. There is an onsite gym complete with stationary bikes, treadmills, weights and exercise videos.

Weight Watchers reps come in weekly to coach those involved in the program, and there are random ergonomic checks at employees’ desks by an HR manager. 

“Everyone is different. Having a variety of programs enables us to reach more employees,” Ms. Masset said. 

“Some are runners, some are walkers and some use the gym at lunch or after work. By responding to their needs, we make it easier for them to manage their health throughout the day, not just at night or on weekends. At the same time, we keep hearing about morning walks and our people training for marathons.”

Participation is up to 45 percent of all employees at all events since offering this wellness program. Having a gym and showers at the office allows employees to come in early or stay late to work out.

A major side benefit is that employees have taken their newfound wellness attitude home, and more spouses and family members are getting involved. 

As a result of this program, observers report that employees are more alert and engaged in their surroundings and look forward to coming into the office in anticipation of the next competition and supporting their peers.Wells Fargo Insurance ServicesFIRST TIME WINNERProviding Resources and Incentives

[caption id="attachment_64652" align="alignright" width="390"] Sandlot volleyball is a favorite activity among Wells Fargo Insurance Services employees.[/caption]

PETALUMA -- Providing an array of resources and incentives to employees and spouses who engage in the company’s Enterprise Wellness Incentive Program supports Wells Fargo’s commitment to the health of its staff as valued team members.

“We continue to see positive outcomes as our employees increasingly embrace the variety of wellness activities being offered,” said Managing Director Mark Stokes.

“More than half of our 70 employees are currently participating in these activities, and this number is growing.”

Management promotes wellness in the workplace by providing health risk assessments, onsite health screening and by conducting annual physical exams. Videos showing employees how they can maximize health care resources are also available.

In addition, employees have access to a volleyball court, a wellness room, fee reimbursement for participation in Weight Watchers, free online seminars, as well as free health kits for pre-natal care, adult care and child safety. 

Employees also receive discounts to local fitness centers and have access to health coaches and other health management programs through its provider, Optimum Health.

“Our office has a walking group and we are seeing more team members practicing health eating behaviors,” Lisa Kaufman, human resources manager, said.

“The breadth of our wellness offerings shows how much we value employee health and continually strive to support our employees while encouraging them to live healthy lifestyles.”

Several employees have lost significant amounts of weight (from 40 to 70 lbs.) as a result of this program. A number participate in Yoga, regular exercise, or by playing golf and walking.

“We made a conscious shift toward health snacks as a replacement for donuts and bagels at our staff meetings, seminars and employee-sponsored meals,” Ms. Kaufman added.

“At the same time, a reduction in portion sizes has also been observed. We are asking our vendor partners to no longer bring unhealthy treats when visiting our offices. All of this has contributed to helping employees make healthier eating choices.”