A Publication of WTVP

As the New Year approaches, many of your employees will begin to think about engaging in a healthier lifestyle—maybe eating right or exercising more. As an employer, having healthy employees can also mean having more productive employees and a healthier bottom line for your business.

The Employee Health Team at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center works with local businesses to ensure their employees have the tools they need to transition to a healthier lifestyle. Now is a great time to start thinking about how your business can help employees adopt a healthier lifestyle.

There are programs available for your business that will empower your employees to not only make positive choices about their health through education and individualized programs, but also help them succeed. This includes areas such as weight loss, eating right, relieving stress and physical activity.

The weight loss program is one of the most popular services businesses choose to offer their employees. “There are many ways to be successful with weight loss,” says Jenny Reay, a wellness dietitian with the OSF Saint Francis Weight Loss Center. “No one program works for everyone.”

At the Weight Loss Center, the staff works closely with employees to find the best weight-loss approach for each person. Options include:

In addition, there are ongoing support groups that can be brought to your workplace to help employees stay on track with their weight-loss goals.

“It is important to provide a culture of wellness in your organization, and this starts at the time of employment,” states Jo Garrison, director of employee health. Recognizing that each business is different, OSF Saint Francis offers a wide variety of services to meet the individualized needs of your company and can tailor programming to help you with this endeavor.

One such service is pre-employment physicals. Many employers need to know if a prospective employee has any physical or health issues that could impact work safety and performance. Some of the areas in which prospective employees can be evaluated include hearing, vision and drug screening. Other areas of screening include exposure to hazardous situations, such as noise, dust, chemicals or other factors. Drug and alcohol screening is also an essential risk management and productivity tool. Drugs and alcohol can present a serious risk and the potential for injury to the employee who is using, his or her co-workers, and the public. To fully support employers with second, third and weekend shifts, OSF Saint Francis has resources available no matter what time of day. Employees can access highly trained nurses to assist in injury care 24 hours a day.

Oftentimes, employees have health-related needs as a result of on-the-job injuries. This can be a difficult process. Managing employees through the system is accomplished more efficiently with the role of the case manager. OSF case managers assure timely and accurate communication with the medical provider, employee, employer and agents of the employer. They have experience with the medical and workers’ compensation standards that affect both employers and their employees. It is essential that clear and expedient communication is presented for the successful management of injury care, return to work and return to work productivity.

One other area that OSF Saint Francis Medical Center can offer is an independent medical examination. The purpose of an IME is to respond to the referral source’s questions with an objective medical opinion, such as causation, maximal medical improvement, treatment options and work capabilities. Medical consultations are also available and often made by the current medical provider or the insurance carrier. This service is to render a specific opinion regarding the direction of care and care options. No treatment is provided, but could be referred.

OSF Saint Francis strives to provide the best quality care and support in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, which then creates quality, productive and engaged employees. With our multi-disciplinary staff of physicians, registered nurses, dietitians and exercise specialists, we can make it happen. A healthy employee is truly the key to a successful business and bottom line. iBi