Notes from the Road: AnMed Health Rehab, Hilton Head Hospital & Clarendon Memorial

AnMed Health Rehabilitation Hospital, Hilton Head Hospital, and Clarendon Memorial Hospital welcomed Working Well for site visits in late June and July.  The energy and passion continued to be on display as they proudly showed off their successes and gracefully shared their challenges and barriers.  Wellness teams were eager to learn about all the ways Working Well’s resources can help them identify focus areas, prioritize action steps, seamlessly intertwine new policies to enhance their existing employee wellness program, and ultimately achieve their goal of a Culture of Wellness.

Working Well will continue to roll through SC in August, making a stop at Georgetown in just a few weeks.  There are plenty of openings in the site visit schedule so call or email soon to reserve your spot!  Site visits are one of the many ways Working Well staff is readily available to assist SC hospitals achieve a Culture of Wellness.

AnMed Health Rehabilitation Hospital is a joint venture with Health South and AnMed Health.  Chris Smith, Infection Control and Staff Education Coordinator, hosted the visit of the 45 bed (soon to expand) facility.  A Working Well overview was presented to leadership, followed by a facility and grounds tour, and culminating in a lunchtime discussion of AnMed Rehab’s current employee wellness culture and ideas of where they’d like to be in the future.

The hospital is in a unique situation being affiliated with both AnMed Health and Health South.  Their Health South policies align with the clinical practice of AnMed Health.  The Healthy Quotient Program from BCBS Alabama offers the benefit tie-in to healthy lifestyle choices.  Employees receive a monthly premium reduction for completing the annual Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) and the Disease Management program options for their employees are also included.

They are a self managed nutrition department.  A nice salad bar is available every day with a variety of fresh veggies and greens.  The food stations do not currently provide nutritional information on the items served, but this is an area the wellness team is looking to enhance.  Registered Dietitians on staff are available to employees for nutritional counseling when a desire is identified.  The location of AnMed Rehab’s campus offers good access to physical activity opportunities.  Employees are allowed to use the Rehab Gym’s equipment during non-patient care hours, they are offered a discounted membership at the YMCA that is ½ block away and the AnMed Health North Campus fitness track is also within walking distance.  The inside halls of the facility are already marked for distance as part of the in-patient rehab function.  This could easily be used to encourage their employees to “move more” by simply adding some walking trail signs with motivational language.

The tobacco free campus policy is currently being enforced quite well.  Michelle Skripps, CEO, has shown tremendous executive leadership through innovative tactics.  She has taken groups of known smokers on campus tours to show them “smoking spots” marked by cigarette butts.  She has also spoken to surrounding business owners to engage them in making sure employees are not using surrounding property to violate policy.  Should an employee leave campus for any reason they must clock out.  Ms. Skripps is leading by example and support to help her team enhance the health of the employees.

Hilton Head Hospital (HHH), part of the Tenet Healthcare family, has a very robust corporate employee wellness program tied to benefits and incentives called Healthy at Tenet.  Healthy at Tenet is a comprehensive program including education, disease management through phone and online health coaching, HRA requirement, nutrition, fitness and stress management challenges, healthy recipe sharing, promotion of community events, and encouragement of preventative screening.  Employees have 10 months to successfully accumulate enough wellness credits from the items previously mentioned to earn a significant premium reduction or HSA contribution depending on chosen coverage.  Healthy at Tenet has the corporate executive support of Tenet, but more importantly the local executive support of CEO Mark O’Neil.  Mr. O’Neil is an active participant in the program, even issuing CEO challenges that encourage colleagues to get active through friendly competition where they have to meet or exceed his recorded physical activity over a specific time frame.  Health Promotion Coordinator and RD, Holly Mlodzinski, along with the Wellness Champions, host the visit.

The hospital has a tobacco free campus policy but signage indicating this is limited.  It is clearly marked on the glass at building entrances, but less than a handful of signs throughout the campus grounds can be found and all are easily overlooked.  This is a challenge for Hilton Head Hospital due to town ordinances that guide the colors and design of signs to blend with the natural environment.  Working Well will work alongside HHH, and if necessary the Town of Hilton Head, to find the best method to enhance the visibility and therefore enforcement of their tobacco free campus.  Employees sign a tobacco attestation form each year during benefit enrollment and users pay a tobacco surcharge every pay period.  This is a legal attestation form and fraudulent completion carries serious consequences.

Hilton Head has expressed their goal is to be the 1st Red Apple Hospital in South Carolina!  Sounds like a call for some friendly competition.  Their food and nutrition services, as well as vending are managed by Morrison.  They have just installed a new fresh food vending machine that will make nutritious fresh items available 24/7.  Line ID cards display nutrition information for most items in the cafeteria and icons identify healthy vending choices.  Using Morrison’s Fit criteria to qualify healthy food items, consistent use of line ID cards, a more prevalent icon for vending, completing the product placement and pricing that is already planned, and instituting the catering policy based on Morrison’s Meeting Well criteria will position them to potentially be that 1st SC Red Apple Hospital.

HHH installed a campus fitness trail a couple years ago that winds around their beautiful lowcountry grounds for 1 mile.  The Healthy at Hilton Head fitness trail markers also offer healthy lifestyle tips.  Their employees can take advantage of discounted memberships and waived initiation fees at many local fitness centers.  Just recently they have opened their onsite employee fitness center that is available to all staff and physicians after paperwork and liability waiver have been submitted. Through badge swipe entry, approved individuals have access to Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab’s cardio and strength training equipment during non-patient care hours 7 days per week.  Individual fitness evaluations with customized plans conducted by an Exercise Physiologist were available to those who need assistance getting started or changing up a fitness regime. HHH’s Physical Rehab has an indoor pool that offers water aerobics classes that are also available to employees. Events for Start! Walking at Work Day are held each year on the fitness trail and notification of upcoming community health and fitness events are communicated through weekly E-Newsletters.

Clarendon Memorial Hospital hosted the next stop. Director of Wellness, Travis Pruden, has newly formed the hospital's Wellness Team, which encompasses various departments and leadership levels, smokers and non-exercisers, as well as some outside organizations with a mission of health and wellness like the American Heart Association. The current climate at Clarendon warrants efforts to tread lightly and progress slowly in order for them to successfully achieve their ultimate wellness culture goals. The value of having a comprehensive wellness team is identifying this early and working off of realistic timelines. It is also indicative of how customizable and adaptive Working Well can be to the needs and intricacies of each hospital. This site visit offered a unique perspective, no one besides Travis new about the site visit ahead of time, so we got to observe the “natural habitat” and speak frankly with employees and wellness team members as we ran into them on the campus tour. It was a really great experience for all involved. A new name for the employee wellness program as well as increased communication efforts through an e-newsletter or a recurring employee wellness section of their current newsletter are in the works.

Clarendon has had a tobacco free campus policy since 2004, but sends a very mixed message with the designation of a covered smoking area, the “butt hut”, for employees on their grounds.  An equally mixed message is sent with the cigarette butt receptacles positioned in front of building entrances where the tobacco free signs are displayed.  A clearer message may be sent by adding tobacco free campus signs at all entrances to campus and throughout grounds including parking areas, along with the removal of all cigarette butt receptacles.  The wellness team plans to resurrect the smoking cessation program in November to coincide with the Great American Smokeout.

Chef Evan runs the self managed dietary department at Clarendon and will be a very valuable asset as they work toward Red Apple status.  Evan is energetic, knowledgeable, and motivated to help create a healthier food environment.  They plan to add nutrition info and the program icon to healthy options first, later progressing to labeling everything.  Dietary staff gets ongoing training in proper portion sizes and soon the cafeteria menus will be available online.  The In the Zone meal plan punch card will kick off this fall to provide a volume discount to employees who purchase the healthy meals, buy 10 get one free.

Clarendon employees have an onsite, full service fitness facility available to them at The Zone.  For a very modest monthly employee rate, access to a pool, cardio equipment, strength training, over 40 classes a week, and massage therapy are available.  There is also a covered, climate controlled walking route inside the Cypress Center that is available to everyone, staff and community, at no charge.

Clarendon may be at the beginning stages of their wellness culture shift, but under the guidance and leadership of Travis and the wellness team, they will make big strides in the right direction.  The enthusiasm and dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of their colleagues and friends is inspiring.

Remember… There are plenty of openings in the site visit schedule for August and beyond so call or email Jen soon to reserve your spot!

07-28-2011 04:47 (EDT)