- Stanford HIP promotes the health of its employees by offering healthy living and fitness classes to university and hospital employees.
- Employees can also enroll in Stanford BeWell, which awards up to $580 financial incentives for participating in Wellness Profiling, the Healthy Work Environment program, and/or “Berries.”
- Employees can also get credit for participating in HIP classes, two of which they get at a discounted price.
- Stanford’s workplace wellness programs also tackle disease management through its partnership with Stanford Coordinated Care. Employees with chronic conditions such as diabetes can meet with a team of medical professionals with no out-of-pocket costs.
Stanford University and Hospital’s Health Improvement Program (HIP) aims to motivate Stanford employees to pursue a healthier lifestyle and provide them with the opportunities and resources to do so. Faculty, staff, retirees, and families can enroll in any of over 200 healthy living or fitness classes offered on campus each quarter. Departments can also request Wellness on Wheels (WoW) classes, which come directly to the workplace.
Stanford also provides disease management services for employees via Stanford Coordinated Care, which allows employees to access a team of medical professionals with no copay to help them manage chronic conditions such as diabetes.
One of the newest initiatives by the HIP, Stanford BeWell provides a financial incentive of up to $580 for employees who participate in workplace wellness. Employees can choose from three separate programs that involve 1) individual health screening and coaching, 2) fitness & healthy living activities called “Berries”, and 3) a Healthy Work Environment program. HIP classes can count as credit for “Berries.”
Since BeWell’s formal implementation in 2008, thousands of employees and spouses participate in the program each year. In 2015, 10,120 participants filled out the Stanford Health and Lifestyle Assessment (SHALA) and 7,879 completed the Wellness Profile (screening, advising, and plan). Employees also completed 25,329 “berries.” According to SHALA data, Stanford employees – at least those surveyed – continue to make small but significant improvements to health metrics such as body weight, physical activity, nutrition, smoking and alcohol use, emotional health, and sleep.
Stanford University provides a pool of rich opportunities for its employees to immerse themselves in a culture of health. By engaging not only employees but also its students, retirees, family, and leadership, it fosters an entire community dedicated to healthy living. Furthermore, Stanford HIP promotes accessibility to its resources by having fitness and healthy living classes as well as health screenings available in various locations on campus and delivered on-site via its WoW program. Beyond classes, Stanford’s BeWell program furthers a culture of health by encouraging departments to become healthier as a team through its Healthy Work Environment program.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of Stanford HIP, however, is its partnership with Coordinated Care, which allows participants to access care for chronic conditions with no copay. Studies such as the 2014 RAND report have found that disease management, but not healthy living, programs decrease employer healthcare costs – most likely due to decreased hospitalizations. In allowing employees to access a team of medical professionals that can act as or work with an employee’s primary care providers, Stanford demonstrates a willingness to support employees with chronic conditions such as diabetes. While the effects on employee health and Stanford’s healthcare costs are not available to the public, the existence of a disease management program is often overlooked in employee workplace wellness programs.
Admittedly, many employers may struggle to provide wellness initiatives on this scale. A major limitation of the HIP model is that many smaller employers lack the funds to build such extensive wellness programs, especially in terms of being able to provide medical teams focused exclusively on providing free care to employees. That said, HIP programs like Healthy Work Environment require few resources and can be a valuable example for other employee wellness programs to help create a similar culture of health.
- “About Us,” 2017.
- “The 2017 BeWell Program,” Stanford BeWell, 2017, https://bewell.stanford.edu/bewell-program/.
- “Annual Report 2014-2015” (Stanford BeWell, 2015), http://web.stanford.edu/group/bewell/cgi-bin/bewell-wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Annual-Report.pdf.
- “The 2017 BeWell Program.”
- Mattke et al., “Do Workplace Wellness Programs Save Employers Money?”