Freeman designated among nation’s healthiest companies in 2020

Staff Reports
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. Courtesy Photo

Freeman Health System is being recognized by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) as a certified Silver Well Workplace for its organizational commitment to health promotion. The designation by WELCOA endows Freeman as one of the nation’s healthiest companies in 2020. The award came after a thorough review of Freeman’s WellBalance® program.

WellBalance® rewards employees for an active lifestyle and healthy choices. WellBalance includes fitness challenges, classes and myStrength™, which provides employees with a personalized digital wellness account that can be used 24/7 to boost physical and emotional well-being. WellBalance also offers wellness points for participation, which can result in financial savings on health insurance premiums.

Freeman staff members volunteer to be wellness champions who motivate and encourage members of their departments to make healthy lifestyle changes. Freeman has more than 100 wellness champions who share aspects of the WellBalance program to more than 4,500 employees.

“From wellness centers to addiction services to our farmers market and more, Freeman Health System leads the way in fostering good health both for our own workforce and for the community at large,” says Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula F. Baker. “We encourage healthy habits and provide wellness education for families, senior citizens, employee groups, athletes, veterans and other populations. Because physical wellness goes hand-in-hand with mental wellness, we continue to add to our roster of integrated behavioral health programs that help people improve their overall well-being.”

“It’s an honor to earn this distinction,” said Freeman Wellness Coordinator Kris Drake, RN, CHPD. “WELCOA is one of the nation’s most-respected resources for building high-performing, healthy workplaces. With a 30-year history and more than 4,000 corporate members, WELCOA has an impeccable reputation for helping business and health professionals improve employee well-being and create healthier organizational cultures. Our WellBalance program is founded on their seven benchmarks for success.”

Those seven benchmarks for success are:

— Committed and aligned leadership.

— Collaboration in support of wellness.

— Collecting meaningful data to evolve a wellness strategy.

— Crafting an operating plan.

— Choosing initiatives that support the whole employee.

— Cultivating supportive health promoting environments, policies and practices.

— Conducting evaluation, communicating, celebrating and iterating.

As a health system, it is part of Freeman’s mission to improve the health of the communities we serve. WellBalance is tailored toward the health system’s values, mission, vision and goals for wellness.