As a nonprofit healthcare organization, Iredell Health System has a commitment to promote the health and wellbeing of not only its community, but also its employees. Due to its continual dedication to workplace wellness, Iredell Health System has been named the No. 1 Healthiest Employer in its category by the Charlotte Business Journal.
This is the third consecutive year Iredell Health System has been recognized as one of Charlotte’s healthiest employers. But this year, Iredell Health System received an outstanding score of 86.15, placing it first among multiple organizations in the 500-1,499 employee category.
The Charlotte Business Journal’s Healthiest Employers of Greater Charlotte Awards program recognizes organizations that are making strides in wellness for their employees. To earn this esteemed award, Iredell Health System completed an extensive survey process that was evaluated by Healthiest Employers LLC. Questions on the survey focused on a range of health and wellness-related issues, from benefits like insurance and paid time off, to workplace amenities and COVID protocol. Each employer was assigned a score based on its responses, and those with a score greater than the national average made the ranking.
“Iredell Health System is a community-based organization with a mission to inspire wellbeing. This award shows the public we support and promote wellness for our employees, as well as our community,” said April Johnson, benefits specialist and wellness coordinator at Iredell Health System.
One of the most prominent wellness initiatives Iredell Health System employs is Humana’s Go365 wellness program, which encourages employees to make lasting, healthy lifestyle choices. To effectively support this program, Iredell Health System has designated employee wellness ambassadors comprised of individuals from various internal departments who meet monthly to coordinate and promote events and challenges.
Using the Go365 program, Iredell Health System employees earn points for completing wellness activities and taking steps to improve their health. These points enable them to receive discounts on insurance premiums. The more points earned, the greater the discount.
There are multiple ways to earn points, including receiving annual biometric screenings and achieving health goals based on screening outcomes. In order to achieve the greatest outcomes, activities on Go365 are personalized to individual employees. Through the Go365 program, Iredell Health System saw 24% of employees participating in the wellness initiative shift from the mid-risk category of metabolic risk to the low-risk category.
However, this year, instead of primarily prioritizing fitness goals, the employee wellness team shifted its focus to self-care, supporting mental health, and fighting workplace burnout. Throughout 2021, the health system saw a 22% increase in behavioral health services among employees.
“We all thought 2020 was a stressful and challenging year that couldn’t be topped, and then along came 2021! Our team was getting increasingly emotionally and physically drained, which can be a hard time to promote healthy components of living and wellness, but there is no more important time than during these times,” said John Green, President and CEO of Iredell Health System.
This year, employees could earn points through participation in wellness activities, such as meditation, mindful breathing exercises, coping skills, ergonomic stretching, sleep tracking, employee walking clubs, and healthy food choices. Staff could also earn points from COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, blood donations, and health education sessions, among other activities.
“We are very proud of winning this award as it is a testament to our ongoing focus to care for our team’s health. We look forward to continued and expanded efforts to promote wellness for our employees and our community,” said Green.
Photo: Scott Graham and April Johnson, employees of Iredell Health System who act as wellness ambassadors for the organization, pose with Iredell’s first place trophy at the Charlotte Business Journal’s luncheon celebrating recipients of the Healthiest Employers awards.