The value of annual biometric screenings and how Wellness Champions contribute to the health of the WashU community
Annual health screenings are an essential building block for any well-being goal. By “knowing our numbers”, we can detect disease early, establish a baseline for our health, and make informed health decisions. Seeing your medical provider for recommended health screenings and immunizations is one of the 8ight Ways to Wellness for WashU employees.
WashU provides FREE onsite screenings for benefit-eligible WashU employees AND a $50 prepaid Visa gift card to participants who complete their screening by Nov. 30, 2022. Screenings take about 15 minutes and provide you with your:
- A1C (blood glucose) level
- Blood pressure
- Total cholesterol (HDL, TC/HDL ratio)
- Height, weight, and body mass index (BMI)
- Waist circumference
Benefit-eligible employees have three options to get screened: attend an onsite event; visit your primary care doctor; or schedule an appointment at a LabCorp location. Onsite screenings take place in the form of general sessions (available to all WashU benefit-eligible employees) and dedicated screenings (hosted by our WashU Wellness Champions for their workgroups).
Wellness Champions work directly with the HR wellness team to arrange for a dedicated screening event that’s personalized to their workgroup. This partnership has been highly successful in making it convenient for employees to participate in screenings, learn valuable health information about themselves, and walk away with a $50 Visa gift card. These dedicated screenings allow us to reach populations of employees who may otherwise not have the bandwidth to travel to an otherwise scheduled screening appointment.
The screening program is so valuable because most folks go to their primary care provider once a year, so these screenings provide people with an additional checkpoint to be sure they’re on target for optimal health. And the gift card provides an additional bonus!Wellness Champion Theresa Horn, protective services program coordinator
Starting in 2019, WashU’s Wellness Champions have hosted dozens of dedicated screening events across multiple campuses and satellite locations.
Theresa Horn, a repeat host, works in Protective Services of OFMD, which is a 24/7 department. Usually, health screenings are scheduled to accommodate the typical 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. work schedule, which covers the majority of WashU employees. Theresa sought out an opportunity to cover additional folks in her department. For the past few years, she has partnered with the HR Wellness Team to provide screening opportunities for the midnight and early morning shifts for Protective Services and Operations and Facilities Management Department (OFMD) staff.
Champion Raema Howell, who works in the OFMD office, has a background as a registered nurse, which reinforces the importance of knowing one’s numbers. She understands that biometric screenings allow employees to evaluate their risk for a variety of health issues, many of which can be prevented. A friend of hers learned through routine lab screening of an imminent heart attack, which was averted by seeking immediate medical attention.
My co-workers are very important to me. All of us are rushing and pushing the limit everyday, and there comes a time when we need to pause and take care of ourselves. I enjoy being a Wellness Champion because I get to make others aware of health and wellness, and keep them abreast of the latest information and upcoming events.Raema Howell, Wellness Champion in OFMD
These dedicated screenings garner a lot of positive feedback. Champions that host dedicated screenings report that co-workers who attend really like the events and added convenience. Each screening takes 15-20 minutes of their day, and they are able to learn about any health risks and connect with WashU experts to learn about available resources.
It’s not too late to schedule your health screening for 2022 if you haven’t already done so! Participate by Nov. 30 to be eligible for incentives.
Any employee interested in volunteering for a leadership role that fosters a workplace culture of well-being can learn more about WashU’s Wellness Champion program here.