Feedback: October 2018

by Alan Althouse, Edward N. Basha III, Deb Spurgin

What was your one (or two) most successful wellness programs for your employees, and what changes (if any) do you plan to make for 2019?

Alan Althouse

CEO and President
TruWest Credit Union
Sector: Finance

This is our second year offering every employee an annual wellness check-up. A medical provider brings a mobile “clinic” to our headquarters location and employees are welcome to use company time to participate in a full two- to three-hour health review with a medical professional. This is much more comprehensive than just an annual physical, including, for example, EKGs, allergy tests and blood work. Starting this year, we’ve opened this up to family members, also free of charge, as long as they’re under our health insurance plan. 

About two years ago, we began offering healthy snack vending boxes in our break room. Due to the success we’ve seen, we are now in process of upgrading these and replacing many of our vending machines with healthy snacks and even lunch meal options, including salads and natural food entrées.

Finally, we provide our employees and their entire family a comprehensive insurance benefits package that is quite affordable, with more than 80 percent of the cost borne by the company.  

Alan Althouse is president and CEO of TruWest Credit Union. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., TruWest operates as a cooperative to provide its members with a lifetime of quality financial services and a culture of caring for its members, employees and communities. With more than 86,000 members and assets totaling more than $1 billion, TruWest Credit Union has 13 branch locations — nine in Metro Phoenix and four in Austin, Texas. 

Edward N. Basha III

Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and CEO
Bashas’ Inc.
Sector: Grocery

Our corporate wellness program has averaged one major wellness challenge per quarter, with different incentives as rewards. Although the challenges differ, most have focused on healthy body weight, increased physical activity and healthier lifestyles. Our members (employees) have come to enjoy these regular challenges. Significantly, we encourage our leadership — myself included — to participate, making it abundantly clear that wellness matters at Bashas’ Family of Stores.

This year, we also surveyed our 8,500 members to find out if they were aware of our free wellness program, whether they’d utilized it, how we could make it better, and what kinds of additional health topics they’d like us to address. What we gleaned from that survey will shape future wellness initiatives.

Finally, we’ve utilized social media to showcase the expertise of our wellness coaches, featuring them in videos — shot in our stores — discussing how to pack healthy school lunches, choose foods that help hydrate, incorporate “super foods” into their diets, and more. Although our social channels are customer-facing, our members watch them, too, and incorporate the advice into their lifestyles.  

Edward N. Basha III is chairman of the board of directors, president and CEO for Bashas’ Inc., the family-owned grocer that operates Bashas’, Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Eddie’s Country Store and Bashas’ Diné Supermarkets. Basha’s grandfather and great uncle founded the Arizona-based company in 1932. He continues the family tradition of community involvement, serving in leadership capacity with numerous and varied organizations. 

Deb Spurgin 

Chief Benefits Officer
Kyrene School District
Sector: Education

Kyrene School District’s Win on Wellness (WOW) program aims to reach our diverse workforce, consisting of teachers, education support professionals, bus drivers, grounds and facilities staff, administrators, and district office-based teams who work tirelessly to meet the needs of our K-8 students. We offer online health, fitness and nutrition classes, and individual health coach visits at each school or department site. 

Employees can annually earn $250 for completion of wellness-related tasks. This program is extremely successful. Additionally, we host annual wellness expos, provide free flu shots and mammograms, and offer diabetes and cholesterol screenings at our district office. We also have weight-loss challenges and a “Walk or Run = Win” component that allows employees to win cash prizes. We have recently added free yoga and meditation classes.

Our wellness program is ever-changing and flexible. Our participant data shows we reach more than one third of our staff. We intend to listen to the needs of our employees, as it relates to their lifecycle of employment, and possibly add to the program in financial wellness.  

Deb Spurgin has been with Kyrene School District for 14 years and currently is the chief benefits officer. Spurgin has more than 24 years of experience in employee benefits and wellness. Previously, she managed Bar-S Foods’ employee benefits, Fit to Win wellness program, and Systems Engineering Services Corporation. Spurgin earned her degree from Northern Arizona University and subsequently obtained her Paralegal and Group Benefits Associate certificates.

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