During the past year, more than 97 percent of Adventist Health Portland’s employees volunteered to enroll in the organization's highly interactive wellness program, designed to help create a continued focus on whole person health. This passion for wellness by nearly 2,000 employees is one of the many reasons Adventist Health Portland has been named the Healthiest Employer in Oregon among companies of similar size by the Portland Business Journal. The recognition was based on the hospital’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of their work force and the communities they serve.
At Adventist Health Portland, the quality of patient care depends directly on the health and wellness of the employees who provide care. "That philosophy encompasses not only the physical health of employees, but also their emotional and spiritual health," states Ed Hoover, Adventist Medical Center wellness services manager.
"Wellness through whole person care has been at the core of Adventist Health Portland for more than 100 years," states Dorane Wintermeyer, business relations executive director. "Our employees are enrolled in an active wellness initiative designed to change behaviors and improve health."
LivingWell is transforming lives of employees and their families throughout the organization. For example, one employee lost 70 pounds, dropped four dress sizes and was able to reduce her medication intake as a result of changing her food choices. Nutrition service employee Julie Wilkinson shed more than 200 pounds through lifestyle choices, the support of her colleagues and friends, as well as the guidance of the hospital's culture of wellness. Another employee reports that her employer encouraged her to spend quality wellness time with her family. Today that employee is happier and 80 pounds lighter due to incorporating an active lifestyle.
"We see these types of miracles happen frequently," states Hoover. LivingWell encourages employees to set health goals of learning and doing. Systems have been developed to encourage staff in their journey and then celebrate their success.