Cleveland Clinic Enhances Employee Wellness Efforts With Free Weight Watchers Services

The Cleveland Clinic developed several new enhancements to its employee wellness program.

Among the program’s features, employees who participate in the clinic’s corporate employee health plan (EHP) can select Weight Watchers services at no cost, free memberships to select fitness facilities, and free smoking cessation treatment and medication through the hospital’s smoking cessation program.

“Our employees are our greatest resources, and by improving their quality of life with these new programs, we’re able to have a positive impact on them and on our patients,” said Joe Patrnchak, chief human resources officer for Cleveland Clinic. “By removing the traditional barriers of cost and inconvenience, which can keep people from participating in healthy activities, we are encouraging our employees to embrace healthy living,”  he said in a recent issue of Wellness Program Management Advisor.

Cleveland Clinic began offering employee-focused wellness programs when it established its Wellness Institute nearly three years ago. The effort has raised awareness for healthy lifestyle choices among employees and has resulted in the clinic taking a leadership role in employee wellness, the clinic said.

Cleveland Clinic said it has consistently sought to shift the national focus from providing “sick” care to promoting wellness.

From designating its entire health system smoke free on July 4, 2005, to no longer hiring smokers as of Sept. 1, 2007 and banning trans-fats from its menus, Cleveland Clinic said it is dedicated to creating a healthier environment for its employees, patients and community.

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