Good health is good business

WRITTEN BY

Chris Kalina, RN

In August, we were among a committed group of organizations in the area being recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of the region’s healthiest employers.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal to others out there—corporate wellness has been all the buzz for several years now, and lots of employers across the country are making this part of their overall business strategy. But, I think we sometimes forget about the overall impact of designing, implementing and sustaining a strong corporate wellness initiative and how crucial these programs are for good health and good business.

Our own corporate culture has always encouraged and supported healthy minds and healthy bodies. We want everyone to enjoy their work and to feel good about what they’re doing, and you can’t do that if you’re sick or stressed.

That’s why we began looking very closely at population health initiatives several years ago and formalized and built our own enterprise-wide employee health and wellness program. All of our employees have access to state-of-the-art fitness centers, onsite clinics, classes and seminars, work/life balance, coaching and targeted lifestyle programs, as well as healthy workstation options that keep us moving and keep us fit.

Today, more than 75 percent of our employees take advantage of most of these programs, and it’s about more than just saving healthcare dollars. National data show that successful corporate wellness programs have a huge impact on reducing absenteeism, improving productivity, decreasing workplace injuries and improving morale and retention.

At MedImmune, this has translated into a culture of not only healthy people, but also a healthy business. While among our goals is compliance—which means a focus on regulatory-driven programs in occupational health—we’re extremely attuned to prevention and disease management. To this end, we have established a number of onsite programs that include Employee Health and Wellness Clinics; Flu Clinics; Disease Management programs; Weight Watchers, including online meetings; Fitness Center and Fitness Center subsidies; wellness fairs and campus Wellness Committees composed of employees.

If you were a visitor to one of our sites at any moment of any day, you’d see how this is playing out regularly and with unbridled enthusiasm. From treadmill desks and dedicated game areas for playing pool, ping pong and foosball, to working out in our onsite fitness centers or getting a restorative massage, it’s clear that we’re active, engaged and playful. Yet, we are balanced and focused on the importance of the work we do and how best to get it done.

That’s a direct result of our pledge and ongoing commitment to keeping us all healthy—good for people, good for business.