Making workers’ health a priority
Sutter Davis Hospital aims to make employees happier to help make patients happier
HOSPITAL WORKERS can fall into a couple of unhealthy extremes. Some might be worn out and stressed—on their feet all day moving from patient to patient, with little time to decompress. Others might have the opposite problem, not moving enough as they plug away at a desk job, worried about their heart health and their weight.
Sutter Davis (Calif.) Hospital employees can go right outside and address either problem.
Those who fear their rising cortisone levels as they bounce through a stressful shift can head to the meditation garden, built to encourage staff to take a few minutes for relaxation. Those who worry about the effects of more sedentary work can keep moving past the garden to the hospital’s half-mile walking path.
If that’s not vigorous enough, there are exercise equipment stations along the pathway and employees can also use the hospital’s exercise facility.
Sutter Davis is the winner of Modern Healthcare’s inaugural Healthiest Award for providers and insurers, which recognizes employers that promote wellness within their workforce through access to fitness programs and facilities, the structure of the organization’s benefits plan, and a culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance.
The hospital ranks No. 28 overall on Modern Healthcare’s list of Best Places to Work in Healthcare.
The hospital takes advantage of its location near an agricultural area just west of Sacramento, holding a farmers market to encourage healthy eating. The market also supplies the hospital with fresh produce, said Donald Hartman, the hospital’s director of human services.
Hartman said patients are obviously the priority at the 48-bed acute-care hospital, but employees have an equal footing.
“If you take care of your employees, it’s going to carry over to the patient side,” Hartman said. “If our employees are happy and healthy, we’re going to get great patient satisfaction.”
Sutter Davis workers stop for a quick workout at one of several exercise stations along the groomed walking path on the hospital’s campus.
Healthiest Award finalists Providers/insurers