Torrance Memorial Medical Center has embarked on an inventive program to
encourage its nearly 4,000 employees and their families to improve their
health and wellbeing, in addition to boosting the medical center's
bottom line. The Vitality program is designed to help employees advance
or maintain their health by providing knowledge and tools to enable them
to establish and meet their health goals, all while earning rewards for
"Our employees are our greatest asset. As one of the city's largest
employers charged with advancing the health of our community, we believe
it's equally important to nurture the health of our employees,"
said Craig Leach, president and CEO, Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
"Healthy employees are more engaged, productive, happy, and less
Employees start with an online Health Risk Assessment that identifies relative
risk factors for each member and provides them with their Vitality Age™.
This is a scientifically calculated representation of their risk-adjusted,
or "true," age, allowing each member to easily understand how
their current behaviors are impacting their health.
Members are then presented with a Personal Pathway™—a recommended
set of activities and goals to assist them in improving their health.
Members can select from more than 30 health-related activities including
exercising, achieving health goals such as losing weight or stopping smoking,
receiving routine preventive care, such as a prostate exam or mammogram,
and participating in a health education program. Members are incentivized
for their participation throughout the program and earn Vitality Bucks™,
redeemable for merchandise, including the latest electronics, housewares
and sporting equipment on the Vitality Mall. To date, 1,300 eligible employees
have enrolled in the program, and 78 employees have achieved Gold or Platinum status.
"Due to the stressful nature of the job, hospital employees with chronic
conditions are more likely to be at risk, struggling or in crisis when
compared to the U.S. workforce overall," said Elaine McRae, director
of Torrance Memorial University. "With this program, we provide great
opportunities for employees to be more aware of their health situation
and make improvements by achieving tangible exercise and wellness goals."
McRae recently ran into a group of women dressed in workout clothes in
an elevator at the medical center. They told her that the Vitality program
had inspired them to form a running club called "Run Wild for Rehab."
The group meets every Tuesday after work to run around Torrance Airport,
which is adjacent to the medical center.
"We have enjoyed getting to know each other outside of work and it's
easier to stay motivated when you are part of a team," said Joy Takeuchi,
Run Wild for Rehab, member. "The runners encourage the non-runners
and we have a blast." McRae hopes the program will inspire other
employees to form teams and engage in health-related group activities.
This is not the first beneficial health-related service provided by Torrance
Memorial Medical Center. Torrance Memorial has recently put an increased
emphasis on offering sustainable, seasonable choices in its cafeterias
with its program called Mindful, with the goal of educating employees
and patients about healthful eating.