Jeffrey Sternberg, founder and chief executive of Discovery Health Services, believes embracing wellness increases productivity. So the La Jolla-based company offers employers ways to meet their bottom line while making workers’ health a corporate priority.
Discovery Health Services provides several COVID-19-related services, from assisting companies in establishing a coronavirus testing program for unvaccinated employees to helping them craft messaging to encourage vaccination.
“We couldn’t solve COVID or stop it,” Sternberg said. “But we can mitigate risk and especially work on those things that are a little bit more available, like helping people reduce anxiety.”
Discovery Health also has a program that enables users to log on to a video call with a health care worker to validate an at-home coronavirus test.
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“A lot of the employers are just struggling because they feel that there’s so much risk for doing nothing,” Sternberg said. “COVID has become that new frontier in liability concerns … should there be an outbreak or someone claimed that they were exposed in the workplace.
“It’s better to invest in the training and have a defensible policy in place. We’re going to give you everything you need.”
Discovery Health takes time to learn about its clients’ workplaces and the different personalities and views, tailoring its services to “wherever you are and whatever kind of people you have,” Sternberg said.
He said Discovery Health has built a name for itself providing health-related assistance to companies across the country and has provided onsite wellness since 2006, from flu shots and health information to biometric screening.
“The idea was always that a healthier workforce is more productive,” Sternberg said. “When COVID came on board, we really looked at it as the same opportunity.
“We’re helping employers realize true … value on investment. By introducing COVID safety measures and active and engaging services like COVID testing or temperature screening [and] onsite vaccinations … employees understand we’re concerned about them and we want them to feel safe at work and be able to focus on their job and go home to their families knowing that they’re not exposing them. And that tomorrow they can rely on the company being open and productive.”
Discovery Health performed $25 million worth of COVID services last year for large global companies across the country, Sternberg said. It also provides testing services for smaller companies and private events such as weddings, performances and conferences.
He attributed his company’s “extraordinary growth” to a shift in perspective: Instead of encouraging employers to tackle problems “as if it’s an [occupational safety] regulation,” Discovery Health promotes offering services “truly from the perspective of ‘What’s good for my employees is good for my company. So let’s do what’s good for the employees.’”
Enabling each employee to feel “concerned for and cared for and respected … is the silver bullet,” Sternberg said.
Discovery Health also has opened several coronavirus testing centers in San Diego and Los Angeles that provide PCR testing with results available within an hour or by the end of the day.
Sternberg said the centers, called Hummingbird for their namesake’s “quick, exacting extraction” abilities, can be helpful for travelers who need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test within a day or so.
In addition to Hummingbird, Sternberg operates Koi Wellbeing, which offers integrative health services, under the Discovery umbrella.
For more information about Discovery Health Services, visit discoveryhealthus.com. For information about Hummingbird testing centers, visit hummingbirdrx.com.
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Elisabeth Frausto is a reporter for the La Jolla Light.
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