Managing health

In 1998, Omaha, NE-based Greater Omaha Packing Co. began “Simply Well”– a free program designed to help employees manage their health and companies to better determine where risks lie. Health care professionals “come in and do onsite health risk appraisals and blood draws once a year,” said Kathleen Krantz, vice president of technical and human resources at Greater Omaha. “From that, they generate a personal health record for each employee, so that each employee from year to year knows any changes that are taking place with their health.”

Greater Omaha then receives executive summaries of these health reports. Employee names are not revealed, but the summaries help the company determine which issues to focus on. Reports include information on obesity rates, blood pressure and glucose test results. “We see the data so we can see the demographics of our workforce,” Krantz said. “Each year we can go ahead and use that data to put our wellness goals and objectives together for the next year.”

Greater Omaha is looking to expand its wellness program. “This year for 2009, we’re working on ‘Simply Well’ and an onsite clinic so that our employees will have three doctors on staff to do physicals and follow-up to any medical issues that could be potential chronic issues,” Krantz said.

Onsite clinics provide health services at lower rates because medical service providers are not required to pay rent on the space – it is provided by the employer. A 2008 survey of 248 large and mid-size companies conducted by Lincolnshire, IL-based human resources firm Hewitt Associates found that although only 19 percent of respondents offered onsite clinics and 11 percent offered pharmacies, those benefits are the ones most likely to be used by employees.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)