Workplace-wellness tips from 20 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay awards-winners

Winners profiled in this report

Burr Pilger Mayer

Enphase Energy, Inc.,


Exchange Bank

G & J Seiberlich & Co. LLP

Ghilotti Bros., Inc.

Keysight Technologies

Kaiser Permanente Marin-Sonoma

Marin General Hospital

Petaluma Health Care District

Petaluma Health Center

SOMO Village

Sonoma Valley Hospital

St. Joseph Health

Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

Touro University California

Town of Windsor

W. Bradley Electric

Woodruff Sawyer & Company North Bay Benefits Practice

Workrite Ergonomics

For the fifth year, the Business Journal is privileged to recognize North Bay companies and organizations that are taking workplace wellness to new levels.

The winners were selected by the Journal editorial staff from nominations submitted by the organizations. All nominees were required to complete a company survey that included questions about exercise programs, employee participation, healthy food initiatives and company policies that promote wellness. Congratulations to our 2015 recipients.

(Listed alphabetically)

Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc.

Building a healthful and supportive work environment

Four-time winner

SANTA ROSA - Burr Pilger Mayer, or BPM, has established a comprehensive wellness program that includes dozens of ways its 50 North Bay employees can be healthy in a supportive environment.

“Our workplace wellness program lets employees know their health and overall wellness matters to us,” according to Carol O’Hara, managing partner of BPM’s North Bay region. “It enables us to provide education and counseling resources as well as physical, mental, and spiritual challenges that not only raise awareness and provide opportunities to make significant - and lasting - healthy life changes, but also help to keep medical costs down.”

More than 35 percent of employees participate in one or more physical activities and health education learning programs.

BPM offers staff members a Wellness Minute motivational, health-related email once a week. Lunch-and-Learn opportunities include guest speaker Heart Health talks, a Wednesday Wellness Walk group, flexible work schedules and a comprehensive health plan.

A computer tracking system helps employees monitor personal challenges and offers health reminders. The system displays articles on health topics and enables employees to speak confidentially with a health coach.

The company reports that overall employee biometric measurement results continue to improve each year, including better results in all risk areas such as BMI, blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose.

“As a result, BPM employees are engaged, productive and also promote health and wellness among their peers,” said Ted Grafe, partner and North Bay business development and marketing manager.

Employees who participate and reach set criteria can earn a reduction in their monthly benefit premiums - as well as raffle prizes - along with the satisfaction of knowing they are leading healthy lives.

“There is something for every age, activity level and position at BPM, and each year we look for more ways to incorporate wellness into the fabric of the BPM culture,” Grafe said.

Enphase Energy, Inc.

Onsite engagement promotes healthful behaviors at work

First-time winner

PETALUMA - Enphase Energy provides its employees with the wellness tools necessary to support the whole person, enabling each one to enjoy a better quality of life both at work and at home.

“We make access to wellness programs simpler for our employees so they can engage in healthy behaviors more easily,” said President and CEO Paul Nahi.

Enphase provides onsite Yoga classes each week, eFit workout classes twice a week, employee paid chair massages every two weeks, and annual free flu shot clinics.

The company has organized walking and biking clubs where anyone can participate. It offers discounts at local gyms, and conducts compelling corporate challenges at least once a year that include all of the firm’s offices in three different cities and four countries.

“We host an annual health fair to ensure that our employees have access to the latest information about their health benefits,” said Heidi Matteri, senior benefits administrator.

“In addition, we also invite representatives from community organizations to talk about resources available to our staff, including mental and emotional health services.”

During a recent six-week Corporate Fitness Challenge with Active Sports, Enphase employees logged 614 workouts, lost 97.2 pounds and 25.7 percent body fat. At the same time, employees gained a collective total of 20.61 pounds of muscle and lost 58.5 inches.

On a quarterly basis, Enphase conducts onsite Lunch-and-Learn sessions covering topics of interest to its workforce to help them stay abreast of the latest health and nutrition developments.

“At Enphase, we believe employees are our greatest shining assets, and we strive to keep them fully active in mind, heart and spirit - while also emphasizing the importance of a positive work-life balance,” Matteri said.

“We continue to see employees inspire and challenge each other to continue to workout and stay healthy.”

The firm’s medical insurance renewals have come in lower than expected, and below market trends, showing a positive correlation with the efforts Enphase makes to foster a healthier employee environment.

EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants

Creating an environment with emphasis ?on lifestyle wellness

Four-time winner

PETALUMA - EPIC takes pride in fostering a culture of wellness at the workplace as well as encouraging employees to practice it at home.

“We reinforce wellness throughout the year but it really starts with our EPIC Lifestyle Wellness Program, managed by Aduro Life,” said CEO John Hahn.

“Our program resets every January 1 and allows employees to earn points to receive gift cards and health insurance premium reductions of up to $50 per month.”

The goal of the Lifestyle Wellness Program is to spark revolutionary change by following a three-step process.

First, by changing the workplace environment and setting an example for employees to follow, the company has created a new environment where everyone at all levels takes part.

Second, EPIC is providing the tools for change while also providing the motivation to stimulate and sustain ongoing improvement.

Third, the company encourages employees to take emphasis on wellness home to extend these changes to others, as parents and partners set a good example for their families by exhibiting positive habits in front of their children. The company believes that by employees initiating healthy lifestyles among the young, the stage is set for them to grow up healthy and avoid many medical problems.

Through the Lifestyle Wellness Program, employees earn points by completing a Health Risk Assessment, biometric testing, employee-initiated challenges and by participating in educational webinars.

“EPIC sponsors events throughout the year with emphasis on physical activity and provides everyone with a monthly wellness newsletter that highlights timely tips and news that helps our employees improve their health,” said Mary Smith, senior vice president of human resources.

She said that since making a commitment to wellness, EPIC has seen employees improve their overall health, which has led to an increase in productivity and happiness.

“Healthier employees also reduce health insurance claims and result in lower insurance premiums,” she added.

Exchange Bank

Results-oriented programs ?where ‘every body benefits’

Four-time winner

SANTA ROSA - Exchange Bank is committed to offering a multi-faceted, relevant and results-oriented wellness program for its 396 employees. The bank’s motto says, “When we all take steps to be healthy, Every Body Benefits.”

“We launched our wellness program in 2010,” said President and CEO Gary Hartwick. “Since then we have been successful at growing program content and employee participation.”

Here are a few recent examples:

Slam Dunk Wellness is a team-based wellness conversation where players score points for various health activities.

Just Breathe is a monthly group meeting where employees explore yoga, meditation, qigong and other mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques.

Meditation Line is a two-minute guided meditation exercise to help clear the mind and bring focus.

Walktober is an individual walking competition that includes subsidized Fitbit fitness tracker purchase opportunities.

Maintain Don’t Gain utilizes a series of articles and challenges during the holiday season aimed toward helping employees make healthful diet decisions.

In addition, the bank offers onsite flu shots to everyone on an annual basis.

All employees receive wellness information on specific topics by email, as well as articles on the company’s intranet, through internal mail flyers and announcements, along with various promotions and giveaways.

“It is important to us to provide support and motivation for our employees in order to build excitement and interest around taking charge of their personal health,” said Lori Zaret, SVP and senior human resources officer.

“We host company events such as no cost biometric screenings and competitions designed to foster teamwork and build a culture that supports a healthy, active lifestyle. This also helps to reduce time away from work and demonstrates our commitment to our employees.”

Exchange Bank continues to make reimbursements available to employees for costs associated with health club membership, weight loss and smoking cessation programs.

The bank was recognized by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board’s Healthy Business Recognition Program earning gold status, the highest level awarded.

G&J Seiberlich & Co. LLP

Living its mission statement ?‘accounting for life’ on the job

First-time winner

NAPA - With a company slogan that describes both its mission and outlook, G & J Seiberlich’s 35 CPAs, partners and employees view their work as “Accounting for Life.” The ability to live a rewarding life is at the heart of the firm’s goal for its clients and staff as it focuses on serving companies in wine and agriculture, construction, real estate, professional services, nonprofits and consumer/retail industries.

“It’s important to our firm that employees enjoy a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally,” said Managing Partner Greg Bennett.

“Our written flex-time scheduling policy encourages employees to include exercise and fitness into their workday. The company pays monthly dues for employee gym memberships of their choice. Ready access to healthcare has created a supportive environment enabling staff members to make healthy decisions.”

Benefits at Seiberlich include robust, 100 percent employer-paid medical, dental and vision insurance for all employees, in addition to a Section 125 (Flexible Spending Account) cafeteria plan to help cover out-of-pocket medical costs.

Employees also receive four weeks of annual paid time off.

“Our primary goal is to reduce employee health risks. The wellness committee serves as the driving force spearheading and organizing healthy physical activities.”

The firm provides worksite activity and exercise messages, promotes walking and cycling to work, and offers staff members an array of healthy choices in vending machines.

In addition, G&J Seiberlich partners are often found in leadership capacities among a group of more than 14 Napa-area foundation boards, service clubs and organizations, including: Little League, Boy Scouts, educational groups such as Pueblo Vista Alternative PTA, Aldea Children and Family Services, Cope Family Resource Center and Alternatives for Better Living, to mention a few.

Ghilotti Bros., Inc.

Monthly health themes stimulate ?and maintain employee interest

Four-time winner

SAN RAFAEL - Ghilotti Bros., Inc. has improved its four-year-old wellness program based on responses to an all-employee survey asking for ideas on how to keep the program relevant.

“Last January we polled our team to get their input on ways to improve,” said President Mike Ghilotti.

“We were impressed with employee responses, took their advice and developed a monthly theme approach that adds variety and maintains interest in wellness throughout the year.”

The firm had been scheduling six-to-eight week challenges focused on nutrition, stress relief, massage therapy, proper diet and stepping activities.

“Now we change the program every month, based on various national awareness days, when people across the county are focusing on unique aspects of health,” said Aixa Santos, HR representative.

In 2015, this new approach was launched in February during National Black History Month, with emphasis on the causes and prevention of hypertension - a leading cause of death among African Americans.

March was National Nutrition Month with cooking classes, information about the negative aspects of fast foods and the benefits of a balanced, healthy diet.

April was Community Spirit Month when Ghilotti paid entry fees for employees supporting the Rotary Cycle for Sight program benefiting veterans by participating in 15, 25 and 50-mile bike trips. This fundraiser raised money for camps for the blind and the Veteran’s Pathway Home project.

May was National Physical Fitness Month honored with two company- organized hikes.

June was National Fresh Fruit and Veggies month with $10 vouchers given to employees to spend during trips to local farmer’s markets.

National Salad Week in July featured employees bringing in their favorite salad ingredients for a potluck.

In August Ghilotti celebrated National Relaxation Day observed with scheduled yoga classes.

September’s National Hispanic Heritage month focused on heart care, since heart disease is a significant issue among members of this population group.

In October employees turned the spotlight on Breast Cancer Awareness with two in-house walks, and by distributing pink bracelets and hope-and-faith ribbons.

November’s theme was the Great American Smoke Out with emphasis on how to stop. Everyone received packs of sunflower seeds to chew instead of lighting up.

In December, the annual cycle will come full circle with activities planned around National Stress Free Month, just in time to avoid anxiety during the holidays.

Kaiser Permanente ?Marin-Sonoma Area

Evidence-based programs support healthful lifestyles and choices

Five-time winner

For more than six decades Kaiser Permanente has been known for its commitment to wellness and prevention.

“Our evidence-based programs are designed to improve and maintain healthful lifestyles, support healthy choices and encourage long-term behavioral changes to maximize health and quality of life, ” said Judy Coffey, senior vice president and area manager.

Today in Marin and Sonoma counties, nearly 4,500 physicians and staff continue the tradition, enjoying a premier health care plan including a full range of preventive measures.

These measures include cholesterol and blood pressure screening, immunizations and free classes on timely topics such as healthy cooking, exercise, weight management and smoking cessation.

Community health fairs are also conducted from time to time where employees have a chance to share their knowledge of health and prevention with residents of the two counties while also learning more about how to take better care of themselves.

In addition, KP’s award-winning Live Well Be Well (LWBW) program focuses on encouraging, inspiring and motivating employees to focus on their own health and wellness. This program encompasses healthy eating, physical activity, emotional health, a healthy workplace and healthy community topics.

Other offerings include organized outdoor training programs (5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon races), trips to farmer’s markets, weekly mindfulness meditation and emotional health and wellness programs and classes, such as financial wellness.

“Our LWBW program’s design objectives are based on KP’s evidence-based medicine and unique integrated system and utilize our advanced information technology systems,” said Rudy Collins, HR leader.

“We strive to maximize and enhance our employees’ overall health which can lead to increased productivity, while also helping them make the healthy choice the right choice.”

Kaiser’s Live Well Be Well program continues to grow in terms of the number of employees participating and in the types of services offered.

Three quarters of Kaiser’s total employee population (approximately 3,375 individuals) regularly take part in some or all of these wellness programs.

“We’ve seen an increase in participation in our fitness classes (Body Blast and Zumba) as well as in the utilization of our onsite fitness centers. Flu vaccinations for our employees remain a key focus, and we continue to increase our immunization rates,” he said.

Financial wellness seminars are also conducted that include budgeting, retirement planning and understanding social security.

KP says these sessions are well attended and help employees maintain a healthy financial outlook, while assisting them in reducing stress.

Keysight Technologies

On-site programs contribute ?to a rich culture of health

Five-time winner

SANTA ROSA - Keysight understands that its healthy workforce is why it is the world’s premiere test and measurement company.

“We are committed to the health and safety of our employees,” said Keysight President and CEO Ron Nersesian. “Prioritizing workplace wellness allows us to recruit and retain the best employees, foster their innovative spirit and ensure their long-term contributions.”

The company’s occupational health and safety policy promotes wellness programs that contribute to the productivity, health and well-being of its staff.

This is demonstrated at the company’s Santa Rosa headquarters facility through a number of programs focused on health and safety.

Keysight has a departmental health and safety committee with more than 100 members. This team places a great deal of emphasis and importance on identifying and resolving potential health and safety risks.

In recent years, one of the company’s most important program elements has been a focus on wellness.

Keysight employees appreciated the convenience of their on-site fitness center, free exercise classes, playing fields, employee garden and a full-service café that offers healthy options, including site-grown produce.

According to the company, this comprehensive list of wellness promoting benefits creates a culture of health that enriches the lives of all employees and enhances the quality of their work.

Demand for plots in the employee garden has required expansion from the original raised beds to in-ground plots on an adjacent hillside.

The employee garden, the inclusion of site-grown food in cafeteria dishes, an employee produce exchange, and site community supported agriculture delivery are helping employees eat better at work and at home.

Keysight recognizes the benefits of an environment that emphasizes work-life balance.

With a 200-acre facility in Santa Rosa, the company’s wellness program encourages the use of the grounds for running, walking, and playing softball, basketball, Ultimate Frisbee and soccer. Other programs include encouraging outdoor meetings, and reminding employees to get away from their desks periodically to get some fresh air and take advantage of a network of walking paths.

Employee exposure to second hand smoke has been greatly reduced since Keysight lowered the number of designated smoking areas from 25 to three.

Keysight’s fitness program in Santa Rosa features 16 free fitness classes a week, wellness rooms available for private meditation and group exercises, and a state-of-the-art gym.

Even after doubling the number of fitness classes offered at the site over the past few years, participation continues to grow and all classes are full on a regular basis.

The company’s Santa Rosa wellness programs produce both tangible and intangible benefits, according to Tricia Burt, Keysight’s Bay Area Region environmental health and safety manager.

“The advantages are multi-faceted and include employees joyfully tending their gardens, engineers who are able to get away from their workspace and minimize stress by walking around our beautiful facility, and participants in our fitness classes - as well as those who benefit from exercise with new equipment in our gym,” Burt said. “Access to these amenities results in thanks and smiles from employees who achieve weight loss goals and make healthy lifestyle changes that lead to improved wellness, productivity and overall happiness.”

Employees participating in Keysight’s wellness program have earned county-wide recognition for their lifestyle changes, including recognition from the American Heart Association.

Some 75 percent of the firm’s employees regularly take advantage of one or more of Keysight’s healthy activities.

Marin General Hospital

A Wellness@Work culture encourages healthful habits

First-time winner

GREENBRAE - As leading health care provider, Marin General Hospital believes wellness extends beyond patient care alone.

“Through the development of our wellness program, called Wellness@Work, we aim to not only better the lives of our employees, but - in turn - lead by example to become healthy healers,” said CEO Lee Domanico.

Wellness@Work supports the adoption of health attitudes and behaviors that contribute to positive wellbeing by empowering employees to make healthy choices.

“We have effectively built, and continue to evolve, a wellness culture in an environment that encourages healthy habits,” Domanico added.

Wellness@Work was started in 2013, the year that the hospital saw a 40 percent increase in health assessments. In 2014 this number increased to 62 percent and Marin General is on track to exceed this level in 2015. Biometric screenings are also rising from the base level of 225 screenings in 2014, and should surpass that number by yearend.

Other notable programs include weekly onsite yoga classes, a 5K Heart Walk, and a Holiday Weight Challenge. Sixty employees participate in the annual Heart Walk after hours.

The Holiday Weight Challenge ran from Thanksgiving to New Years. Results showed an 86 percent success rate and 72 pounds lost.

“Since launching this program, we have measured many successful outcomes, which have provided a basis for continuing to add resources to build a robust employee wellness program,” according to Wellness Program Coordinator Terese O’Malley.

“We recognize that healthy and happy employees are vital to Marin General’s ongoing success. We are committed to helping our staff by encouraging them on their health and wellness journey.”

Petaluma Health Care District

‘Walking the talk?? of health and wellness ?in the workplace

Second-time winner

PETALUMA - As a community owned and operated public agency, the 70-year-old Petaluma Health Care District serves the changing health and wellness needs of Southern Sonoma County residents in and out of the workplace through leadership, advocacy, support, partnerships and education.

Last May the Association of California Healthcare Districts honored PHCD as the “Healthcare District of the Year. ”This annual award given to just one of 78 districts.

“While PHCD’s focus is to serve the community, we make sure to walk-the-talk of health and wellness in our workplace,” said CEO Ramona Faith.

“For example, you won’t find junk food machines or oodles of sugary drinks stocked here.”

The kitchen is equipped with an “Inspiration Board” where employees post health-related goals and educational materials on good food choices and eating habits. One post says, “I work for skinny jeans” or “Every choice creates a lifestyle,” and “Stop for a moment, close your eyes and breathe.”

Posters adorn this board showing how much sugar is in popular drinks and how much water should be consumed daily, along with motivational quotes promoting self esteem, like “A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman’s body.”

Knowing that 300,000 Americans are victims of sudden cardiac arrest each year, PHCD launched HeartSafe Community in 2013 to strengthen its response to cardiac arrest emergencies through CPR and Automated External Defibrillator training, strategic AED installations, maintenance and registration along with heart health education.

In 2015 the Petaluma City Council recognized Petaluma as a HeartSafe Community after exceeding the criteria set by the American Heart Association.

Some 100 percent of PHCD’s employees are CPR certified and participate in health and wellness events, such as the Alzheimer’s Walk, Sonoma County Heart Walk, Petaluma Kids Grand Fondo Race, and fundraisers.

Employees take walk breaks and prefer healthy snacks and drinks, including making their own smoothies in a blender purchased by the wellness committee.

They also take advantage of flex schedules to balance family and health needs, as well as free flu shots and access to confidential counseling for mental health support.

Brown bag lunchtime speakers provide information on sodium intake, bone and joint health and other key topics.

All staff members are routinely evaluated for ergonomics at their workstations and, if anyone needs an upgrade, PHCD provides the equipment.

Net result…It’s been a decade since PHCD has had a workers compensation claim.

Petaluma Health Center

An innovative, healthy environment ?fostering staff and patient engagement

Three-time winner

PETALUMA - “The Petaluma Health Center has made a deep commitment to the health of its employees,” said Pedro Toledo, chief administrative officer.

“We believe that maintaining good health not only translates into success in the workplace, but also results in happier workers. As an organization that focuses on wellness for our patients, it is important for our staff to feel supported and empowered to be their healthiest selves.”

He said, with the staff having direct, frequent contact with patients, this allows them to role-model healthy living. By supporting employees with tools and resources helping them achieve personal health goals, their quality of life is improved.

The end result… employees are better equipped to encourage patients, and the community, to seek health resources at the health center and elsewhere, thus improving the overall health and wellness of the community.

PHC employees participate in walking groups, onsite fitness and nutrition classes, have lost weight as well as lowered their Body Mass Index scores.

Specifically, employees at risk for Type 2 diabetes have improved their health so much they are no longer in the pre-diabetes category.

The staff is encouraged to create and add services to benefit each other, and make lifestyle changes at home with their families.

HR Director Raoul McDuff said, “We’ve added nutrition classes that incorporate live cooking demonstrations. Staff members enjoy sharing healthy recipes with other while making good food choices.”

This year PHC’s walking participants started friendly competitions to increase their steps per week. The yearly wellness fair resulted in more than 50 percent staff participation.

Future plans include offering the Omada Prevent Program to staff and dependents, including the purchase of FitBits, ongoing education on healthy lifestyles, nutrition, exercise movement, sleep hygiene and more.

Sonoma Mountain Village

Workplace and lifestyle balance leads to health and happiness

First-time winner

ROHNERT PARK - “Sonoma Mountain Village is a new and different mixed-use community and workplace,” in the words of President Brad Baker.

“As the first One Planet Community in North America, SOMO’s cornerstone principle is health and happiness - which encourages active, sociable and meaningful lives to promote good health and wellbeing.”

He said this principle provides a path to structured thinking and a holistic action-based framework within our fair share of earth’s natural resources.

“It’s all about balance. With it we are in a better position to enjoy healthy and happier lives. Since we spend much of our day in workplace communities, our workplace health programs are paramount to improving our quality of life.”

SOMO Village has seen an increase in workers embracing an active sociable community.

“As our workplace community gathers around programs and activities from biometric screenings to educational Lunch-and-Learn sessions to fitness challenges, we all gain a stronger sense of community by getting to know and care for each other,” Baker added.

He said SOMO has seen an overall decrease in BMI numbers, cholesterol, tryglycerides and blood pressure readings - as well as an increase among partners in fitness and various activities encouraging each other to participate. There has also been strong attendance in team challenges and competitions.

“Together we have seen everyone reach a deeper understanding of the importance of good health and wellbeing, not only in the workplace, but in the surrounding community. The extra bonus comes from hearing that our programs are being talked about and embraced at home with loved ones, adding yet another layer to our community focus on health and wellbeing.”

Marketing Manager Tina Montgomery said, “The most effective promotion tools for our Wellness Programs are the employees themselves. We remain steadfast in our dedication to presenting opportunities for improving the health of mind, body and spirit. With this approach, our employees experience elevated wellbeing and as such, advocate our programs in the best way possible - peer to peer.”

Sonoma Valley Hospital

A results-oriented wellness program ?delivered by trained ambassadors

First-time winner

SONOMA - Sonoma Valley Hospital is both a healthy organization and a Healing Hospital™. In 2011, a results-oriented wellness program was implemented that includes a health dashboard that tracks biometrics, absenteeism, medical expenditures, the number of injuries and sustainability factors.

“As a hospital, we are a place of healing and must be a leader in promoting health improvements for our community,” President and CEO Kelly Mather said.

“We start by offering employees a healthy work environment and by inspiring our staff to be the healthiest they can be. Most of our staff members interact with many people and are in a position to help create a healthier community by taking care of themselves and by promoting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing.”

The hospital offers “Wellness University™ to its staff and community that trains its people on how to become wellness ambassadors.

“Health is clearly contagious in Sonoma Valley due to SVH’s commitment to a healthy community,” Mather added.

Since implementing its results-oriented wellness program reaching over 75 percent of the benefited staff members in 2011, Sonoma Valley Hospital has seen a significant improvement in reduced expenses due to lower absenteeism, low numbers of work injuries, reduced staff turnover and lower health care costs.

In addition, health risk assessments show that more than 20 percent of staff members have reduced stress from high to moderate risk levels.

The hospital is now in the top 10 percent for employee engagement for hospitals using the annual Press Ganey survey. One of reasons stated by employees for such high satisfaction is the hospital’s wellness program.

St. Joseph Health

‘Choose Well’ helps employees ?reach for their healthy best

Five-time winner

SANTA ROSA - “At St. Joseph Health, every employee’s health and well-being is important to us,” according to Robert Eisen, regional vice president of Human Resources. “We are committed to offering competitive benefits and programs that help employees become their healthy best.”

With the goal of building a healthy workplace culture and creating the healthiest communities, SJH offers a number of services and programs to better manage weight, eat healthier, get in shape, or just feel better. Internal goals include increasing employee engagement and retention by supporting staff wellness.

For example, employees can join Choose Well, our worksite health promotion benefit program. Choose Well program a variety of outstanding health and well-being support opportunities, all designed to help the workforce become their personal best.

Choose Well includes:

A Web eHealth portal that provides health resources and tracking tools.

Annual biometric health screening with a health professional and a confidential Well Being Assessment questionnaire to assess your overall health status.

A web-based walking activity program that rewards employees as they reach for their healthy best.

Confidential personal health coaching for moderate to high-risk participants.

Lifestyle support programs to support a wide variety of health and wellness goals.

Chronic condition support.

Meaningful rewards and incentives for staying engaged with each program to ensure lasting results.

In addition, SJH offers health coaching at no cost to support tobacco/smoking cessation and other health risk reduction lifestyle behavior objectives.

“We also have an on-site learning center in Santa Rosa that provides classes focusing on healthy eating and fitness, yoga and Pilates. These classes are either free or offered at discounted rates.”

St. Joseph Health encourages fitness center memberships and attendance with built-in utilization incentives. “Throughout our hospitals and facilities in the North Bay we offer a HealthMiles pedometer program to help employees track physical activities and fitness goals. In return, they receive awards bearing cash value commensurate with their increased and measured physical progress.”

On any given day, employees at SJH can be seen taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking in groups instead of driving so they can log their steps.

In 2013-2014, a partnership with Live Healthy America was launched creating friendly competition with incentives offered to internal teams striving to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and enhance lifestyles. Various fund raising walks are supported annually to promote community health, such as Heart Walk, Light the Night Walk, and Walk to End Alzheimer’s, etc.

Live Healthy teams are rallied to increase their steps and mileage to gain an advantage over others in these fitness challenges.

Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

Amplifying a culture of health with ?activities, incentives and peer support

Three-time winner

SANTA ROSA - Because we are leaders in the healthcare field, we believe that we need to live what we teach,” said Surani Kwan, executive director of operations at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation.

“We understand the importance of worksite wellness and how it relates to productivity, employee morale, and costs to the company. This is why we have a Worksite Wellness committee that meets monthly and implements all that we offer.”

He said when patients come to Sutter Pacific’s care centers, we want them to feel and experience the culture of health from its staff and providers.

“We want our people to understand that their health and wellness is also a priority for us. Our goals include supporting employees to make healthy lifestyle choices through education, activities, and peer support as we look at health from a holistic perspective.”

The medical foundation’s wellness program is steered through an Employee Engagement and Recognition Committee with the objective of giving employees a deep understanding of health and wellness supporting a committed and inspired team to lead the next evolution of healthcare.

“We focused our funds for this program on activities, incentives and education, rather than on outcomes research with many testimonials and statistics demonstrating the efficacy and positive results achieved.

For example, over 75 employees increased the number of steps they take each day by more than 100 percent during the first three month Spring Step Challenge.

People write: “There has been a huge change going on in this department and our staff is really living up to the challenge.” Another said: “This challenge has definitely helped me become healthier”…”When this challenge is over, I plan on keeping up with my healthier choices.”

Employees watch Sutter Pacific’s Institute for Health and Healing You Tube videos on stress management exercises and practice with their department colleagues.

“We held a No Weight Gain Challenge through the holidays and a Healthy Holiday Recipe contest. Winning recipes are compiled in a small book distributed to all employees. We know that our numerous efforts to amplify a culture of health will continue to produce results. Employees now are more engaged, morale and productivity is up and there is less absenteeism. It’s a win-win for all!” Kwan said.

Touro University California

Making healthful living part of ?the campus culture

First-time winner

VALLEJO - At Touro University, the health and wellbeing of employees and students is paramount to their success in the workplace as well as academic achievement.

“As a Jewish nonprofit graduate institution that produces healthcare professionals, it’s our responsibility to promote the relevance of health among faculty, staff and everyone on campus,” said Marilyn Hopkins, provost and COO.

“We believe that employees who live a healthy lifestyle tend to have greater job satisfaction, are more committed to the university’s mission, have a higher level of self confidence and inspire self confidence in others. They are also more goal-oriented, have less stress and lead life with a positive attitude.”

From noon hour walkers to afternoon joggers to yoga enthusiasts, some 70 percent of the university’s 250 employees use these moments to release daily pressures.

Touro offers free health checks and faculty members take time to present free, one-hour sessions for meditation, yoga or osteopathic manipulative medicine to the campus community.

There are events such as “Bike to Work Day”; “One Million Steps Up Harter Way (with a goal of walking up and down 113 steps to reach one million); and the annual Mare Island Run - where students organize a 5K run/walk with proceeds going to local nonprofits.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine sponsors free Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes screenings along with a prevention plan. This one-year program has reduced the risk of progressing to diabetes by 58 percent among participants in this wellness program.

The university also hosts blood drives, medication adherence checks and the “Touro Goes Green” Energizer Station event.

Campus students have an array of sports clubs, including flag football, soccer and basketball, to keep them active and healthy.

As an advocate of healthy foods, Touro has a campus vegetable and fruit garden and a kosher kitchen that follows strict rules for the way food is produced, prepared and certified under close inspection and monitoring.

Touro’s research team conducts studies focused on improving the quality of life, such as the metabolic impact of fructose restriction in obese children, cardiovascular inflammation, and the adverse metabolic effects of dietary sugar, to name a few.

“The Touro campus community is working together to build a social movement around health,” said Kathy Lowe, HR director. “There is a strong desire on the part of university leadership to make healthy living part of the campus culture.”

Town of Windsor

Providing a healthy and safe employee workplace

First-time winner

WINDSOR - The Town of Windsor’s Employee Wellness Policy, adopted on June 20, 2012, places high priority on having a healthier and safer lifestyle for its 195 employees.

“This policy serves to improve employee morale and job satisfaction, increase productivity and provide access to healthy food and beverage choices,” said Town Manager Linda Kelly.

“It is also designed to reduce employee workplace absenteeism and health risks, including tobacco exposure, while helping to lower employee and employer medical costs. Furthermore, it encourages active living and support healthy lifestyle choices for employees and their families by creating a supportive environment for them to make healthier lifestyle changes.”

The Town offers a healthy option when meals and snacks are provided for public meetings and staff events. Most vending machines in Town facilities have been eliminated, and the Town sponsors an annual Health & Wellness Fair - including blood pressure, skin cancer screening and BMI assessments.

Windsor sponsors wellness challenges for healthy eating and a physical activity tracking system that includes cooking demonstrations, group fitness activities, and educational seminars, with all participants receiving fun, health-related prizes.

The Town promotes a bike-to-work day and provides bicycles for staff to use.

Stretch breaks are encouraged every morning and there is a free Employee Assistance Plan for staff members and their families, as well as seminars targeting work-life balance and stress management.

Kitchen facilities and a break rooms are provided at each location. The Town’s safety committee meets regularly to discuss hazard identification and prevention.

In addition, Windsor allows break time to accommodate an employee to express breast milk, and provides a private space for them to do so.

HR Manager James Leon said, “The success of our plan is highlighted by the Wellness Reimbursement Program, which provides $600 to $1,200 per employee per year, depending on job classification, for gym memberships, exercise/fitness classes and programs.

Employee satisfaction survey results in 2013 showed that 81 percent agreed that the Town is a great place to work, a percentage that rose to 93 percent in 2014.

W. Bradley Electric, Inc.

Encouraging healthful activities ?during and after the workday

Five time winner

NOVATO - W. Bradley Electric has a wellness program led by a committee of volunteer office employees who want to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the company.

“We always keep our kitchen stocked on a daily basis with fresh fruit, spring water and healthy snacks for all and offer everyone a series of health tips weekly,” said Kevin Bradley, vice president.

“Employees tell me they drink more water because of what we do to ensure that it is readily available to them.”

WBE also offers yoga class passes to any employee who is interested, and has an in-house gym to encourage healthy activity during and after the workday. In addition, the firm helps subsidize memberships to offsite gyms.”

A majority of the company’s employees are electricians that perform heavy-duty work. The firm provides an annual health fair that includes information about heart attack and stroke prevention, free flu shots and more.

WBE is ready to launch a new web page with incentives for reaching goals based on tracking each individual’s daily food intake, calories, exercise and other metrics.

Some 75 percent of the firm’s 285 employees regularly participate in the wellness program.

“We also offer a range of health benefits such as medical, vision, dental, life insurance and health savings accounts to ensure that everyone is taken care of,” said Marybeth Costa, human resources coordinator.

WBE provides onsite bicycle parking and encourages employees to walk or cycle to and from work.

Woodruff Sawyer & Co.

Helping employees and clients achieve ‘wellness success’

First-time winner

NOVATO - Woodruff Sawyer values the whole person and commits its resources to best help support its 22 employees in Novato, and more than 420 companywide, both during and after work hours.

Some 80 percent of Woodruff Sawyer’s Novato employees participate in its popular wellness program.

“We encourage our employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance through our robust wellness program as we help our clients achieve the same success we share,” said Jim Settles, Novato practice leader for this company specializing in insurance services, risk management and employee benefits.

The company’s wellness program encompasses nutritional support, physical activity plus mental and financial wellbeing tools and resources.

A few of the firm’s onsite programs include: Biometrics, with premium incentives for participation, flu shots, chair massages, flexible schedules, shower facilities and healthy food policies - which includes no donuts in the office!

“This year in our North Bay Benefits Practice, we provided and incorporated the use of Jawbone activity trackers for all employees to facilitate our quarterly corporate challenges. As a result of our culture of wellness, we have enjoyed great success in 2015 in our North Bay Office with one employee losing over 25 pounds, another losing over 40 pounds and one who has quit smoking for more than 10 months…and counting,” Settles added.

He said wellness is not just what we help our clients achieve, it’s what we practice internally so we can all succeed together. “We want employees to live healthy lives so they can remain happy and motivated individuals. Employees say they are excited to participate in onsite yoga and the walking club and make a conscious effort to be more healthy.”

Workrite Ergonomics

Wellness is the cornerstone ?and a fit for the business

Two-time winner

PETALUMA - Workrite Ergonomics is an internationally recognized leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative ergonomic products for the workplace.

Workrite launched its wellness program in July 2014 and celebrated an impressive 66 percent employee participation rate within the first six months. Today that rate is above 80 percent.

??Our mission is to inspire, create and maintain a workplace environment that both supports and encourages healthy living,” according to Human Resources Manager Melissa Morelli.

“Wellness is the cornerstone of our business, so creating a program to support our team was a natural fit.”

The company believes wellness is comprised of four pillars: Physical, emotional, financial and community. Employee program participation in each area allows Workrite to claim it is doing what it says it is going to do, and that its people work the ergonomic way.

From foosball to ping pong in the break room, from community fundraising to American Hearth Walk participation, and from Lunch-and-Learn educational sessions to yoga classes, the company is living its mission within its culture and manufactured products.

“Over the past two years we have witnessed amazing results from employees losing weight, becoming more active, utilizing the power of preventative care appointments and enrolling in the 401k program. The biggest unanticipated (and measurable) result from our wellness program efforts has been a significant rise in overall team comaraderie,” Morelli said.

She explained that through various activities, tournaments and workplace events, relationships have been forged among staff members beyond just being cubicle mates.

“Employees are learning more about their coworkers as well as learning from them. Some are meeting on the weekends to go on hikes, while others are sharing pictures of their healthy lunches in the break room to gain inspiration. The wellness program is now a huge draw in our recruiting efforts, and a majority of new employee surveys include comments on how great our wellness and company culture has become.”

Winners profiled in this report

Burr Pilger Mayer

Enphase Energy, Inc.,


Exchange Bank

G & J Seiberlich & Co. LLP

Ghilotti Bros., Inc.

Keysight Technologies

Kaiser Permanente Marin-Sonoma

Marin General Hospital

Petaluma Health Care District

Petaluma Health Center

SOMO Village

Sonoma Valley Hospital

St. Joseph Health

Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation

Touro University California

Town of Windsor

W. Bradley Electric

Woodruff Sawyer & Company North Bay Benefits Practice

Workrite Ergonomics

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