ALLENTOWN, Pa., June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporate wellness programs have long been a part of benefit packages offered by larger employers. But as the search increases for new ways to boost employee productivity while lowering health plan costs, more small businesses are getting on the wellness wagon, according to one leading Pennsylvania employee wellness professional.
"We are definitely seeing an uptick in family-owned businesses inquiring about and engaging in our wellness services," says Carol Noel Michaels, MPH, MCHES, manager of BeneFIT Health Education and Wellness at Valley Preferred, a leading preferred provider organization based in Allentown, PA. "The scope of their needs is different than larger corporate clients, but their goals are the same--improved productivity and management of health costs."
Two family-owned businesses committed to wellness after their experiences with BeneFIT are Wert's Cafe, a restaurant in Allentown, PA, and Tyndale Company, a safety apparel manufacturer and distributor headquartered in Pipersville, PA.
With 40 employees, Wert's Cafe has been a landmark eatery in Allentown's west end since 1968. According to general manager Kathy Wert, the employees are either family members or "have been with us so long they have become part of our family. And the health of all of our employees is very important to us." Wert's Cafe's health insurance broker introduced them to Valley Preferred and its BeneFIT employee wellness programs. Soon after, BeneFIT's experts were recruited to conduct health screenings for Wert's employees between the busy lunch and dinner shifts.
"Valley Preferred's BeneFIT Health Educator and nurses provided our employees with health screenings for blood pressure, strength and flexibility, body mass index and bone density. They also provided each employee with personal, professional health advice on the results and took the time to answer their questions," Wert says. "The whole experience was wonderful and it gave us important insights into our own health and what we can do to live healthier."
Tyndale Company is a family-owned manufacturer and distributor of flame resistant apparel in Pipersville, PA. With over 100 employees, Tyndale's President and CEO were "very supportive" of a wellness effort that would help maintain employee health and productivity, according to Andrea Mory, PHR, Human Resources Generalist.
"Our broker told us about Valley Preferred's BeneFIT employee wellness program. Their Health Educator came in and worked with us to tailor a workplace wellness event that would fit our employee population and our budget," explains Mory.
The result of this planning between Tyndale and BeneFIT's experts was a Wellness Fair that succeeded on all counts. "It did not disrupt our workflow at all and I was amazed at the enthusiasm of our employees," says Mory who noted that more than 50% of Tyndale's employees attended the event. "The health screenings, BeneFIT's health team and the exhibits were excellent. There was a definite positive vibe in the air and the employee feedback was overwhelmingly positive," she says. "Our CEO was very impressed as well. We are currently planning our next Wellness Fair with the Valley Preferred BeneFIT team."
Valley Preferred's BeneFIT employee wellness services are fully customizable and available to employers of all sizes, regardless of health insurance plan. According to Michaels, a popular way for employers to introduce an employee wellness program is with the BeneFIT Consultation Package, which includes our award-winning BeneFIT Toolkit. "It's an affordable entry-point plan that combines the hands-on expertise of our team with comprehensive BeneFIT program tools, which can be implemented by in-house personnel," she says. "Valley Preferred's Health Educators lead the way by working directly with the employer's team to get the company's program custom-designed and underway. The BeneFIT Toolkit then stays with the employer, providing the step-by-step guidance and resources that the in-house team needs to keep the wellness program growing strong."
Michaels adds that BeneFIT experts are always available for support and ready consultation. "We're a local provider, based in the Lehigh Valley and accessible to employers throughout the region," she says. "We pride ourselves on our high level of responsiveness and service. Building healthier companies is our mission, and we support our wellness clients and their employees every step of the way."
For more information regarding Valley Preferred or BeneFIT employee wellness programs, visit www.valleypreferred.com.
Carol Noel Michaels, MPH, MCHES, Manager of Health Education and Wellness, Valley Preferred-BeneFIT, is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and holds a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
SOURCE Valley Preferred