Kaiser Permanente Marin-Sonoma wins Healthiest Companies Award

Two dozen Kaiser staffers hiked the nearly two-mile roundtrip trail to Lake Illsanjo from Spring Lake in Annadel State Park. (photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente


For more than six decades, Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Rosa and San Rafael Medical Centers have been known for their commitment to wellness and prevention. The organization is dedicated to being the best place to work and the healthiest company in the healthcare industry.

“We believe being the best means having employees who feel supported and inspired to lead a healthy life,” said Judy Coffey, R.N., senior vice president and area manager for Marin and Sonoma Counties.

Today in Marin-Sonoma 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 topics such as healthy cooking, exercise, weight management, and smoking cessation.

There are onsite wellness committees at both locations and a combination of organized group and individual physical activities are available. Flex time is allowed encouraging employees to include exercise and fitness into their work schedules. Approximately 75% of Kaiser employees regularly participate in its wellness program.

Other comprehensive offerings involve organized training programs, such as 5K, 10K, half and full Marathon, Marathon races, trips to farmer’s markets, a weekly mindfulness meditation program and other emotional health & wellness programs and classes, including financial wellness.

Financial seminars on budgeting, retirement planning and social security continue to be well attending, help employees maintain a healthy financial outlook and peace of mind by helping to reduce stress.

In addition, KP’s award-winning “Live Well Be Well” program focuses on encouraging, inspiring and motivating employees to concentrate0 on their own health and wellness. The program encompasses healthy eating, physical activity, emotional health, a healthy workplace and community.

Kaiser’s overall wellness program is designed to improve healthy lifestyles, support healthy choices, and encourage long-term behavioral changes to maximize health and quality of life.

The Live Well Be Well program continues to grow in terms of the number of employees participating and also by the types of services offered.

“We’ve seen increased participation in our Body Blast and Zumba fitness classes as well as in the utilization of our onsite fitness centers,” Coffey said. “As incentives and prizes, Kaiser also awards Fitbits and pedometers to competition winners, and everyone has access to online tracking programs, such as Everybody Walks.”

Flu vaccinations for employees remain a focus and Kaiser continues to increase its inoculation rate.

Every year there is more participation from physicians, employees and their families at the annual Family Wellness Festival featuring a 5K run/walk, healthy food, physical activities and games along with flu shots and massages.

The design objectives of the Live Well Be Well program are based on Kaiser Permanente’s evidence-based medicine and unique, integrated advanced information technology systems, with the goal of maximizing and enhancing employee productivity by making the healthy choice the easy choice for its employees.