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Employee Health and Wellness Initiatives Set Greenspring Apart in the Senior Living Marketplace

November 6, 2017

Northern Virginia retirement community a champion of unique career opportunities and employee well-being

SPRINGFIELD, Va., November 6, 2017 – Even in 2017, many companies are missing opportunities to support the health and well-being of employees. Not at Greenspring, an Erickson Living developed and managed retirement community in Springfield, Virginia. By establishing the right culture and workplace environment, the senior living community has established a gold standard in employee health and wellness offerings. Its selection in the past two years by The Washington Post as a "Top Workplace" and by the Washington Business Journal as a "Greater Washington Healthiest Employer," signifies its innovations in fostering a diverse and healthy workforce.

"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."

At the recent 2017 Ziegler Annual Senior Living Finance + Strategy Conference, staffing, recruiting and retention were identified as top issues for nonprofit senior living providers.

Erickson Living is not willing to follow this trend.

At Greenspring, Sheri Nidiffer, regional director of Erickson Living's Health and Wellness Centers, works in partnership with the employee wellness committee to create events and activities to promote employee health, education and positive habits.

"The health and wellness services we provide affect people's lives in a very positive way," she says. "All of our management supports these initiatives. 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 available."

Since November 2008, full, part-time and flex employees enjoy access to Greenspring's onsite Employee Health and Wellness Center, which provides services regardless of health insurance status or how long the employee has worked at the community. Nearly 5,000 health center visits have occurred in the past nine years.

Available personal health services range 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. All Greenspring Wellness Center 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.

"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," says Nidiffer.

One of these programs, The Annual Prayer Walk for Breast Cancer, was held at Greenspring on October 20 in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Together breast cancer survivors, staff members and residents walked in honor of all those who face or have faced a cancer diagnosis. Following the walk, participants shared personal stories about cancer's impact on their lives and loved ones.

"It's one of the many ways we strive to meet the needs of all our employees," says Nidiffer.

Since the beginning of the year, Greenspring employees also receive Erickson Living's Take Charge monthly newsletter focusing on healthcare benefits and opportunities. The most recent newsletter contained information on flu vaccinations, smoking cessation resources and the corporate-wide health, safety and well-being expos. Staff also can take advantage of insurance benefits, tuition assistance programs, professional credential assistance programs, public transportation discounts, training sessions and workshops and much more.

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. In presenting the award, ACOEM President Mark Roberts remarked, "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 are 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."

Photo Caption: Just one of the many ways Greenspring cares for the overall wellness of its employees, the Erickson Living community hosts an Annual Cancer Prayer Walk during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Participants light a candle in honor of a loved one who is fighting or who has fought cancer.