IVCC again makes Healthiest Companies in America list
Health is in vogue at Illinois Valley Community College.
IVCC recently was named one of the “Healthiest Companies in America” by Interactive Health, according to the school's website.
It is the second time IVCC has earned the honor. The website said the college was one of 154 companies nationwide to be recognized. To earn the honor, a company has to have program-participation rates greater than 70 percent and a low-risk health score out of the total participants based on evaluations.
Glenna Jones, IVCC's director of human resources, told the Illinois Valley Times that the school has nearly 100 percent participation in the health-screening process. In an email interview, Jones said participants who have a health score in the 0-to-20 range or have appropriate improvement in the score, per the company's screening provider, get a medical-insurance premium incentive.
“The health screening is conducted on an annual basis, and employees must maintain or improve their personal health score each year to continue receiving the medical-insurance premium incentive,” Jones said.
Staff members at IVCC engaged in initiatives such as a program for stress management, a “Biggest Loser” challenge, on-campus walks, classes that taught healthy cooking and starting a wellness page on Facebook, the website said. Jones said employees also could participate in the Walk Across America program.
“The Wellness Committee has been actively offering opportunities for employees to take control of their health,” Jones said.
Improvements in employee health have been made through the programs, Jones said.
“Through the screenings, employees learn they may be at risk for coronary disease, diabetes, anemia and, in some cases, cancer,” Jones said. “Improvements are being made in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mental health, sick days and stress management.”
IVCC President Jerry Corcoran said on the website that some specific program goals “resulted in the early detection of some health problems that may have gone untreated with disastrous results.”
Rising annual health-insurance costs at the college led to launching the wellness programs, Jones said.
“IVCC is partially self-funded, so premiums were being driven by claim dollars expended, plus administrative costs,” Jones said. “Since 2005, the college offered the convenience of on-campus health screenings to bring awareness to the employees of potential health risks. In 2008, we worked with our faculty union to provide an incentive for employees to participate in the health screenings, and maintain or improve their personal health score.”
Jones said creating ways to increase involvement can be challenging.
“That is the most difficult part of our job – providing activities that interest more people and motivate them to make lasting changes to their lifestyles,” Jones said.