Lead and Learn – MetroNational’s Wellness Program Evolution
May 8, 2021
MetroNational recognizes that a conscious effort toward improved health habits is desirable and necessary to prevent serious chronic illness. In 2005, we established an Employee Wellness Program to help employees and their families achieve and maintain optimum health through education about lifestyle choices and controllable health risks.
The Employee Wellness Program has four objectives:
- Provide members with diverse options that may lead to improved health
- Encourage better health habits and improved understanding of how to use health services more efficiently
- Foster a productive workforce
- Control health care costs for both the employee and the company
Our Medical Director, Dr. Kurt Juergens, leads the MetroNational Wellness Program, providing a knowledgeable resource for all employees. Dr. Juergens oversees the Wellness Committee, whose focus is to increase awareness and participation in the areas of nutrition, fitness, and wellness practices.
MetroNational focuses on three areas to create a healthy work environment—education, physical activity, and health screenings.
We encourage and promote physical activity through independent exercise activities and organized activities, including participating in the 1,000,000 Steps Club, Wellness Wednesday – Yoga, free gym membership at our onsite gym, and Strongman Personal Trainer sessions.
On July 1, 2005, the MetroMationalWellness Program launched the Million Steps Club – employees who logged one million steps on their pedometer in any given quarter were inducted into the Million Steps Club. These employees received a MetroNational workout jacket complete with the Million Steps Club logo. Ninety-seven employees participated in the inaugural steps club challenge, and at year-end, sixteen employees received their Million Steps Club jacket. Over the years, we have inducted forty employees into the Million Steps Club.
In 2018 we introduced Workstation Yoga to our employees – a training offered to provide helpful yoga techniques that can be performed at an employee’s desk. We had such success with our Workstation Yoga that we decided to offer 45-minute yoga sessions beginning in 2019. Our yoga instructor is certified and offers beginners, intermediate, and advanced yoga sessions after work.
The MC Club is the community gym for the Memorial City area. MetroNational provides all of its corporate employees with a free gym membership. Along with access to the gym, we have partnered with a Strongman, Dennis Rogers, to host our onsite personal training sessions twice a week. Working with Dennis includes circuit training with weights while building strength and endurance. We are very proud to offer this benefit to our employees.
COVID-19 has impacted our Wellness Program, but we have adapted and have slowly re-introduced our popular physical activities back into the program. All of our physical activities are socially distant, and the number of participants is limited. Since there are three vaccines on the market, we are very optimistic about 2021. We look forward to hosting other physical activities later on in the year, like kickball and bowling.
One employee success story is about our own Benefits Administrator and Wellness Coordinator. La Nita Jackson joined the MetroNational family in March 2017. Over two years, she experienced a very rapid weight gain due to poor eating choices, living a sedentary lifestyle, and late-night eating. As the Benefits Administrator and Wellness Coordinator, La Nita knew that she wasn’t living the healthiest lifestyle that she could, and she felt like she wasn’t a role model for the great benefits of the MetroNational Wellness Program. In August of 2019, La Nita decided to take charge of her health and make lifestyle changes to improve her health and mental well-being. It was a long journey, but after a year and a half of hard work, La Nita has lost 60 pounds and continues to lose more. Her BMI has decreased significantly; she feels great, sleeps better at night, and is no longer borderline pre-diabetic. La Nita has made a complete lifestyle change. She changed her eating habits by making healthier choices, eating smaller portions with more vegetable options, attending telephonic health coaching sessions with a Cigna Health Coach, utilizing the free gym membership at the MC Club, and personal training sessions with Strongman Dennis Rogers. The MetroNational Wellness Program was a catalyst for La Nita’s change. When you teach people the right things to do to live a healthier lifestyle through education, it becomes easier for people to actually make those life changes. We’re very proud of La Nita and wish her continued success.