CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) – Many employees have battled physical and mental burnout during this pandemic.
That’s why Memorial Hospital Community Health and Wellness Director Ashlyn Housewright said they invested more than $20,000 in their wellness program to help their employees.
Housewright said this pandemic continues to put pressure on health care workers, so this year they’re increasing cash payouts for their staff members who participate in wellness challenges like drinking more water and getting more exercise.
Memorial Hospital Patient Accounts specialist Cami Davis sits on the Wellness Committee and said the last two years have been stressful for health care workers.
“When you look at your family and co-workers and other patients just struggling,” Davis said.
But she said their wellness program, that encourages them to work on team-building exercises and focus on their mental and physical health, has helped alleviate that stress.
“It’s motivation to keep going and it’s always fun to win a prize or to have a little tool to remind you to take a drink or to work some muscles or just to get up and walk around,” Davis said.
Housewright said they pay their employees for volunteering, getting lab work done, exercising and other incentives to focus more on their well-being.
“Enhancing our employees well-being, whether that’s through a gift card or a wellness challenge or encouraging them to take a day to do a self-care activity, it can can aid in their success when they come back to work,” Housewright said.
She said they also hosted sessions focused on nutrition.
Network Administrator Jeff Dedey said that’s exactly what he needed because he has to monitor his cholesterol levels.
“Because we’re sleeping better, we’re eating healthier,” Dedey said.
Dedey said the program also gave him tools when he couldn’t workout at the gym, all for a holistic approach to deal with burnout.
“That’s really important as an employee, to know that you’re cared about,” he said.
When the employees know they’re cared about, Housewright said they can better care for you.
In addition to cash reward payouts, Housewright said they also purchased requested items like chair massagers, stand-up desks and self-care items for Memorial Hospital, Memorial Medical Clinic and Hancock Village.
Housewright said even though it’s still difficult to find health care workers with the national shortage, their wellness program is helping them retain workers.
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‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort