Feedback: March 2013

by Lynn Blake | Nancy A. Dougherty | Dave Elrod

Question: A centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is wellness care. Employers have long recognized the positive impact of healthy employees on their bottom line, as healthy employees are more productive. Wellness is now gaining traction for its potential to decrease health insurance premiums. How is wellness care impacting your business?
Lynn Blake Lynn Blake
CEO, Rest Assured, Inc.
Sector: Storage, Transport & Installation

Rest Assured, Inc. being a small company (20–30 employees), it’s been tough at times to find health insurance solutions that are affordable for both the business and the employee. We currently offer a choice of three health insurance plans of which the business pays 50 percent of the premium, a dental plan that is covered by Rest Assured 100 percent and a supplemental option at employee cost, should they choose it.

We give employees a bonus full- or half-day of PTO if they schedule their annual medical physical and a dental check-up back-to-back. Several years ago, an employee survey indicated that most people were not taking advantage of the free aspects of the plans they’d signed up for. This bonus day is meant to encourage individuals to take an active and early role in their own wellness.

We also implement health and wellness solutions and keep our ears open for what is new and viable for us in the healthcare arena. While we have no actual data, we care about our people and understand that healthy individuals make for a healthy and thriving work place.   

Lynn Blake is co-owner of Rest Assured, Inc., the leading delivery and installation firm for interior designers in the Greater Phoenix area. She manages marketing, public relations and finance for the company that has specialized in the delivery and installation of high-value furnishings and fine art since 1989, using a hands-on approach and direct customer involvement to enhance and evolve its services. 


Nancy Dougherty

Nancy A. Dougherty
Director of Compensation & Benefits, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Sector: Healthcare

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has always recognized the positive impact of wellness programs for our employees, with several health fairs and screenings offered every year. In 2011, our Human Resource Department began a more concentrated effort to help employees get healthier physically, mentally and financially, and keeping in mind that healthier employees, fewer claims and less absenteeism combine to make a difference in the bottom line.

Six hundred employees participated in a wellness survey in July 2011, and biometric screenings with blood and cholesterol checks offered to employees at no cost. In 2012, a weight loss challenge was sponsored with 200 participants.

New programs have been added and more are scheduled for 2013 that include Yoga sessions, stress management and healthy meals. The wellness programs are fairly new and we don’t have any benchmark or comparison figures to share just yet but will start measuring ROI this year. All show high employee satisfaction with increased participation in all programs, and we have been recognized by the American Heart Association as a Fit Friendly Company, which was quite an accomplishment as well.

Nancy Dougherty oversees the design, management and administration of PCH’s benefit and retirement plans; manages the wellness program; and audits compensation and benefit programs. She designed and implemented an employee incentive plan and has implemented changes resulting in more than $2 million of annual savings. She received a Master of Management in human resources and marketing from the J. L. Kellogg graduate school of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Finance at Northern Illinois University. 


Dave ElrodDave Elrod
Regional Manager, DPR Construction
Sector: Construction

As noted in the question, wellness is made up of many aspects. DPR Construction believes the environment where people work affects their health and personal well-being — physically and mentally — so DPR is investing in this nationwide in all our offices. The work environment naturally evokes a culture of “just do it” and you can clearly feel no one is holding you back in reaching your potential or maintaining a healthy, growing lifestyle. Employees are encouraged to take time to keep a balanced life — physical and mental fitness, taking time in the middle of the day to hit the Zen Room (nap room), burn off energy in the in-office gym, ride the light rail to lunch in Downtown Phoenix or Tempe, come in early and leave early, manage their own work — meeting deadlines and any commitments they self-motivate and commit themselves to do. DPR knows we must continue to hire, inspire, develop and grow the best people in the industry and to do so we need to have a healthy, innovative, motivating environment. We see investing in our people and their work environment as a direct correlation to investing in our business.

Dave Elrod, regional leader for DPR Construction’s Phoenix office, offers more than 25 years of construction industry experience. Leading DPR’s commitment to be an integral part of the local community, he is a board member of Alliance for Construction Excellence and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Advisory Council, a member of the Arizona Builders Alliance Legislative Review Panel, a guest lecturer at ASU and also involved with SAARC and Future for Kids.

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