#10 Norton Healthcare – Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America

#10 Norton Healthcare – Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America

Norton Healthcare

Caring for a Community Starts at Work

November 4, 2021

Ranking: #10

Headquarters: Louisville, Kentucky

Full-Time Employee Count: 13,000

About: Norton Healthcare is a nationally recognized integrated non-profit hospital health system encompassing five hospitals and 13 immediate care centers that provide care in more than 250 locations throughout Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. 

Norton placed 1st in the Healthiest Employers of Kentucky for the Extra Large category, made up of organizations with over 10,000 full-time employees.

Amy Lazarewicz, Manager of Employee Wellness, shared a few insights into what makes Norton Healthcare one of the Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America.

Q: What specific element of your program is moving the needle for your well-being program and positively affecting your employees' health?

A: Our data is demonstrating positive clinical outcomes. The goal has always been to improve our workforce’s overall health and well-being while showing the value of our investments by abating the health plan trend, which is approximately a 7% projected increase.

For the first time since we began evaluating participant medical claims costs, we saw our participants cost less in total paid claims per employee per year than nonparticipants. Participants engaging in the "N Good Health" program year over year show a 4% lower medical cost trend when compared to nonparticipants.

We attribute the inversion to better utilization of healthcare resources by our participants and better management of our patient population by our providers and care coordination navigators, aided by the enhanced culture of wellness provided by our wellness program.

Q: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how did your organization work to create a "Pandemic Plan" and what factors did you take into consideration when making these decisions? What effects of this plan are still in motion today and/or in the foreseeable future?

A: When the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Louisville, many hands were hard at work at Norton Healthcare. As an organization, we instituted several programs related to benefits, pay, time off, and increasing well-being programs to meet the employees’ needs. Those who run our wellness program, “N Good Health,” worked tirelessly to ensure we were meeting the needs of our workforce.

Our efforts began to include more resources on mental health programming and resiliency and several initiatives were developed or enhanced to meet these needs. We also partnered with the YMCA of Greater Louisville, Planet Fitness, and Norton Sports Health to provide more options for employees to stay active and participate in fitness classes while at home. 

In partnership with Norton University and Pastoral Care, our Employee Emotional Support Team (Nspiration) launched a text program to bring support to our employees’ phones. In order to keep spirits up, we also participated in chalk art and decorated the outside of Norton Healthcare facilities to keep our patients and employees motivated throughout the day. 

Other efforts included increasing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) sessions from six to ten sessions for employees and their family members and allowing access virtually. 

During the COVID-19 crisis," N Good Health" worked to set up healthy snack pantries for our command center team members and other behind-the-scene operations. Deliveries of fresh fruit and other healthy fuel sources were delivered twice a week for hundreds of employees working hard to see our organization through this taxing time.

Understanding that caregivers often think of themselves last, "N Good Health "is putting our team members first during COVID-19. "N Good Health" members were busy stuffing and delivering care packages for employees on the front lines of COVID-19, as well as those behind the scenes supporting our caregivers. Over 1,200 care packages, including massage rollers and other wellness swag, have been delivered to employees within our facilities. Each care package includes information about our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is free to all employees. Services help to support their well-being, including their emotional health.

We have continued with our increased EAP sessions, resiliency efforts through interactive videos and workshops, as well as pay and time off incentives and other benefit plan designs.

Q: What makes your well-being program stand out? Relatedly, what statistic best captures the success of your program's effectiveness in the past 12 months?

A: As a self-insured employer supporting a workforce of more than 17,000 full and part-time employees, we have designed our health insurance plans and wellness program to meet the unique needs of our workforce. This advantage allows us to control cost, coordinate care, and improve employee engagement, while supporting employee wellness. 

We are happy to report that participating employees are showing improvements in their health outcomes, decreased health risks and ultimately spend less on their health care. Participants have higher utilization of preventive care visits, leading to lower total medical claims costs for participants.

“As a healthcare organization, we know that employees who take care of their mind, body, and spirit are able to provide a more positive healing environment for the more than 600,000 patients we serve each year. From sponsoring friendly walking competitions to offering reduced-cost gym memberships and wellness workshops, we are dedicated to fostering a culture of wellness to give our employees the tools and motivation they need to be successful. A healthy workforce correlates to our high employee engagement, but, most importantly, it enables us to meet the health care needs of our community.”

– Russ Cox, President and CEO

To view the rest of our top 10 winners, check out our Healthiest 100 blog posts here! 

Interested in comparing your program to that of the national dataset? Purchase your individualized Benchmark Report today!

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