December 3, 2019

Kaiser Permanente takes workforce health to heart

The American Heart Association recognizes Kaiser Permanente’s actions to support employee health and well-being.

When Don Nishita, a Kaiser Permanente employee and a Total Health Champion in the IT department decided to foster a healthier work environment for himself and his team, he turned to Kaiser Permanente’s workforce wellness program for solutions.

Don used Kaiser Permanente’s employee resources to infuse healthy habits into the workplace and inspire his team members to take care of themselves. His team implemented creative department-wide programs, including Quiet Mind, Healthy Mind for practicing mindfulness and meditation; Snooze, You Win for more restful sleep; and Great Attitude (Gratitude) for exercising gratitude every day. He also encouraged and organized his team to raise funds and participate in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.

Don is one of several hundred Total Health Champions across Kaiser Permanente. The Total Health Champion role is one example of our investment in building a culture of health throughout the organization ― a commitment that recently earned us gold-level recognition for the American Heart Association’s 2019 Workplace Health Achievement Index.

For the fourth consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to support our employees’ health and well-being and inspire them to do their best work on behalf of our members and patients have been reaffirmed by this prestigious award. This recognition reflects our commitment to comprehensive, leadership-championed well-being policies and programs. Our score places us near the top at the 93rd percentile out of more than 1,000 participating companies.

Our commitment to workforce health has a direct impact on the health and well-being of our employees, which in turn helps ensure we are able to consistently provide our members and the communities we serve with the high-quality care and service they expect from Kaiser Permanente. From taking steps toward creating a stigma-free workplace, where employees feel safe and empowered to talk about mental health, to having a Programwide policy that supports employee participation in healthy activities while at work, our healthy workforce program includes a broad and growing suite of tools, resources, and services to help employees take care of themselves.

“We engage with employees to learn more about what they want in health of mind, body, and spirit,” said Kathy Gerwig, vice president of Employee Safety, Health, and Wellness, and environmental stewardship officer of Kaiser Permanente. “This approach enables us to build and nurture a more holistic culture of safety, health, and well-being.”

Kaiser Permanente also shares many of our award-winning workforce well-being programs ― including how to build a health champion team or network — with employers that offer Kaiser Permanente coverage to their employees. They can apply these programs toward encouraging healthier lifestyles and supporting employee health throughout their organizations. In doing so, we extend our commitment to total health to improve the lives of others in the communities we serve.