Contact: Kate Darden, BHS Vice President, Marketing
Julie B. Wall, Markstein
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – July 27, 2015 - Baptist Health System (Baptist) is introducing a new program, Be Well, reinventing the way employers encourage their employees to take better care of their health. Be Well is a physician-led initiative designed to help employers manage healthcare costs, increase productivity and encourage overall well-being by providing proactive education and clinical support at the workplace. The Be Well initiative is led by Anne-Laura Cook, M.D., a practicing Internal Medicine physician at Baptist who has worked to develop and implement the model.
“Many of us struggle to make our own health a priority. It’s easy to put everything else first – work, finances and social life. Our health seems like something remote, something you can always deal with later when you have the time or when you are forced to pay attention to it,” said Dr. Cook. “Baptist wants to change the way employees think about their health. We want them to spend more time doing the things that matter – we want them to Be Well.”
Be Well offers a three-pronged approach to provide employees convenient access to healthcare:
- Be Well On Site – Be Well works with employers to establish or enhance employee health clinics in locations that are easily accessible to employees on existing job sites.
- Be Well On Call – Be Well uses a web-based video chat service to expand access to care from the job site. In addition to video visits with doctors, individuals can use this resource to have digital visits with our dietitians, diabetes educators, pharmacists and others professionals with skills and tools covering virtually any healthcare need.
- Be Well Mobile – Beginning in October 2015, Be Well’s mobile primary care clinic will drive the doctor to each partnering worksite on a regular schedule, to provide employees with preventive care and follow-up visits for chronic conditions, in addition to handling any acute illnesses.
Golden Flake Snack Foods partnered with Baptist and initiated the Be Well program earlier this year. The company has seen participation grow as word spreads among its employees. Dr. Cook visits Golden Flake once a month and her clinic is open to last minute and walk-in appointments for acute issues. For long-term needs or routine check-ups, employees schedule their visit and walk over at their appointment time, neither having to leave work nor sit in a waiting room.
“The time-savings of having a physician seeing patients where they work – in our case, in a private conference room – increases productivity by reducing employee absence. We’ve also seen numerous other benefits,” said Lori Redding, director of human resources at Golden Flake. “Many employees at Golden Flake don’t have primary care physicians, and when they do go to a clinic, they rarely see the same doctor twice. Having Dr. Cook regularly visit the office, with her availability for last minute appointments and walk-ins as needed, has allowed them to receive continuity of care and stay on track with long-term health goals. The result is an overall healthier workplace, with both healthcare cost and productivity savings.”
Be Well begins with a confidential health screening of a workforce to determine whether employees are at risk for the Five Modifiable Risk Factors to Prevent Chronic Disease – tobacco use, diabetes and prediabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess weight and physical inactivity. The screening includes body mass index measurement, blood pressure check and laboratory tests for blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also includes a questionnaire to assess each individual’s ‘readiness to change’ unhealthy behaviors such as tobacco use or excess weight. Once the assessment is conducted, the Be Well team outlines the identified risk factors and helps tailor solutions for each employee based upon his or her specific needs.
After Be Well engages with an employer, the Be Well team creates a Group Health Profile to examine the workforce’s risk factors. Be Well also works alongside the employer to recommend enhancements or modifications of the employer’s current health plan that may support the health and productivity of the workforce. The Be Well ‘prescription’ for an employer may include Diabetes Education classes on site during the lunch hour, Intensive Tobacco Treatment off-site and after hours, or access to Be Well Mobile on a regular basis. Be Well focuses on preventive care and behavioral modification, encouraging people to believe in the power of small changes and helping them overcome common barriers to taking care of themselves.
“Be Well provides truly personalized healthcare solutions,” said Dr. Cook. “Baptist is focused on using a preventive approach to increase efficiency, improve health outcomes and improve overall well-being. We focus on providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time – a better way to a healthier community.”
Be Well is available to companies within the Baptist market region, encompassing approximately a 50 mile radius around Birmingham. This region includes Jefferson County, Shelby County, Walker County, and Talladega County. Collaboration with companies beyond this region will be considered. Employers who are interested in participating or learning more about Be Well can visit baptisthealthalabama.org/BeWell.
About Baptist Health System
Baptist Health System, a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) corporation, provides healthcare services to communities in the greater Birmingham Alabama area through its equity ownership in a joint venture with Tenet Healthcare. As part of this joint venture, Baptist Health System appoints half of the joint venture's Board of Directors. Additionally, Baptist Health System provides administrative and other support to the Baptist Health Foundation. Baptist Health System is a ministry of the churches of the Birmingham Baptist Association whose representatives elect its Board of Trustees. It was founded in 1922 by a group of local Baptist congregations.