CATONSVILLE, MD – David Schuch, the Transportation/Fleet Manager for Charlestown, knows the value of the community's on-site Employee Health & Wellness Center because he sees it each day in his staff's productivity. All of the fleet's 40 commercial drivers are required to have regular physicals so they can continue to legally operate commercial vehicles. "The Employee Health & Wellness Center provides us with those physicals, along with post-accident and random drug/alcohol testing," he said. "In the past we had to send staff to an offsite medical clinic for physicals and testing, which could be a nightmare since we could never gauge how long those employees would have to wait to be seen. We would also have to have another staff member take the employee to be tested to the clinic."
Schuch has personally used the Employee Health and Wellness Center when he did not feel well, instead of trying to get an appointment with his primary care provider or going to a private clinic. "You get the same level of care in our Employee Health and Wellness Center, plus there is no co-pay for those of us with company health insurance. The health care providers even write prescriptions."
More than 3,200 visits were made last year to Charlestown's Employee Health & Wellness Center, which is operated under the auspices of the Human Resources Department. The Center is a prototype for similar centers throughout Erickson Living's nationwide network of communities. Personal health services ranging from sick care to preventative maintenance screenings (e.g., cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes screening), as well as complete annual exams, including early cancer screening, smoking cessation programs, and vaccines are available. All health care providers are certified in health and wellness and trained to help employees better understand their health insurance options and save out-of-pocket expenses.
"The health and wellness offerings we provide our valued employees is the great differentiator between Erickson Living and others within the senior housing industry," says Dr. Craig D. Thorne, Erickson Living's Vice President and Medical Director, Employee Health and Well-being. "We take great pride in promoting a work culture of health and well-being that empowers and supports all employees to lead a healthy lifestyle and a successful life."
The Employee Health & Wellness Center also offers resources, benefits, and programs to help employees to get and stay healthy -- physically and emotionally. Employees can see a Nurse Practitioner during work hours. The Center plays a vital role in keeping Charlestown's employees healthy by providing onsite acute care and preventative health checkups, as well as allowing employees to schedule appointments, receive referrals, and complete lab work without ever leaving campus. Also, employees can use the Center for other services, including free health IQs, annual flu shots, medication renewals, smoking cessation and Weight Watchers programs, and on-site nurse health coach.
Charlestown also offers staff access to its on-site fitness center and employee fitness classes, as well as Erickson Living's Wellness Fund that provides reimbursements for qualifying personal fitness expenses.
As an employer of choice, Charlestown views its diverse staff as its greatest resource and is committed to promoting their well-being. The community's ongoing employee recruitment campaign reflects an innovative and inspiring organization with fantastic benefits, plus growth and development opportunities. What stands out as one of the valued-benefit is the community's Employee Health & Wellness Center which offers confidential, comprehensive and no-cost/low-cost wellness services.
"The health and wellness services we provide affect people's lives in a very positive way," said Charlestown Executive Director Clara Parker. "By helping to keep our employees healthier, we are making them happier and they, in turn, are able to provide our residents with the best care possible.
"In addition to providing top-notch, one-on-one, personalized health care, we concentrate on taking care of the whole person by creating programs to focus on social, financial, and emotional well-being," she said.
Citing Erickson Living's success in nurturing an innovative culture of health and safety for its workers, in 2016, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) awarded the company its Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA). In presenting the award, ACOEM President Mark Roberts, said, "When we speak of 'a culture of health and safety,' we mean "health and safety" in the true sense of the words -- a condition in which employees' physical well-being and safety is optimized by the environment and philosophy of the company they work for. Erickson Living exemplifies this approach through its outstanding health, safety, and environmental programs that seek to maintain and optimize a productive, motivated and creative workforce."
Sherri Queen, Director of Erickson Living's Total Rewards Program, said, the Employee Health & Wellness Centers are part of Erickson Living's overall initiative to provide a "very robust" health and wellness benefits package. "The Employee Health & Wellness Centers are definitely a value-added benefit. It's like having your own Patient First on campus," she said.