Richmond, VA - Riverside Health System in Newport News has been awarded the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s 2013 Health and Wellbeing Award for its employee wellness program.

The VHHA Health and Wellbeing Awards recognition was founded on the belief that engaging employees in healthy lifestyles and behaviors benefits the employee and the community. Virginia’s hospitals and health systems are leading by example, engaging in activities and initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees while lowering costs, increasing efficiency, raising quality and maintaining a stable workforce.

"As large employers and providers of care to their communities, hospitals and health systems have a dual imperative to improve productivity and the wellness of their employees," says Laurens Sartoris, President of VHHA. "We congratulate and thank Riverside Health System for engaging its employees in meaningful lifestyle and health initiatives to improve value to the communities they serve."

About the Program
In 2011, Riverside introduced its CareAdvantage PPO to offer platinum-level health and wellness benefits and physician partnership to team members who use Riverside providers and facilities. This platform provides a patient-centered medical home relationship for team members and spouses, who work directly with their primary care physicians to receive critical screening tests, and ultimately, to develop a personal wellness plan.

These team members in turn receive significant health plan discounts for achieving measurable health outcomes. Team members and families have access to smoking cessation, diet and exercise programs and to Carebridge, a work-life services partner offering 24/7/365 access to wellness and EAP services. During the past year, Riverside added 13 new primary care physicians to support this additional focus on health management.

Using claims data information from team members, Riverside can analyze disease, demographic and claims data to determine the costliest diseases affecting its employees. Riverside then develops programs specific to these needs and identifies where there are gaps in care that can be closed. In 2011, Riverside had 54 percent participation in the plan; in 2013, that increased to 81 percent. Additionally, the system has seen steady improvements in its team members’ health and wellbeing.

Says Bill Downey, President/CEO, Riverside Health System, "We have worked very hard to improve the health and wellness of our team members. They have been very engaged in giving us feedback and ideas to improve our program. To receive this recognition and honor makes the experience even more gratifying."

About the Awards
The awards are selected by an independent panel of judges with an interest in health care in the Commonwealth. The program is open to VHHA institutional members, and all nominated programs must have been implemented by a VHHA institutional member and ongoing for at least one year prior to January 1, 2013. The awards were presented at the VHHA Spring Conference April 12 in Williamsburg.

Published: April 16, 2013