PacMed Receives ADA First Health Champion Designation

PacMed achieved the first Health Champion Corporate Elite Designation from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for its commitment to the health and wellness of its employees, which in turn positively impacts patient care. This designation recognizes companies and organizations that inspire and encourage organizational well-being and is part of the ADA’s Wellness Lives Here℠ initiative.

“We are honored to be recognized by the ADA for our commitment to making health and wellness a priority for our staff and our patients. We believe it’s important to create an environment with opportunities and resources that encourage employees and patients to live their healthiest life, at work and beyond,” said Linda Marzano, CEO of Pacific Medical Centers. “We also deliver health care beyond the clinic walls to encourage healthy workplace environments. PacMed is committed to raising awareness of diabetes and reducing the number of new diabetes diagnoses. Our Living Well Alliance program provides diabetes screening and education to local Puget Sound employers and their staff.” In 2016, the PacMed Living Well Alliance provided wellness services to 104 local organizations.

PacMed continually seeks creative ways to support and empower employees and patients on their personal health journeys. Each year, PacMed holds several public seminars on timely women’s and men’s health topics. Led by physicians, these events always close with a lively Q&A session. The organization also encourages active employee participation in Bike to Work Month and nutritious eating through the ADA’s National Healthy Lunch Day. Employees also can explore a wealth of educational materials, recipes and online tools on the PacMed intranet and in its employee newsletter. To extend its reach with wellness education, PacMed partners with community organizations such as the YMCA of Greater Seattle and its Diabetes Prevention Program.

Recognized as a leader in quality health care delivery by the Washington Health Alliance, PacMed also promotes wellness through its internal Quality Program. Under the program, patient registries and automated reporting facilitate proactive care, and patient care committees develop targeted improvement initiatives. Continuous improvement goals are guided by internal and external benchmarking.

“Now in our third decade of our Quality Program we are continually looking for new ways to improve care and wellness and to empower our employees to be champions for healthy living,” said Christopher Smith, MD, Medical Director of Quality at PacMed.

“Making wellness a priority for patients and employees and understanding the critical role that diabetes awareness plays in improving health care distinguishes PacMed from other health corporations in the region,” said Paul Tobin, Executive Director of the ADA. “The American Diabetes Association values our partnership with Pacific Medical Centers as one of several key health providers focused on the prevention and management of diabetes.”

According to Tobin, the Health Champion recognition is the first step “towards encouraging employers already making wellness a priority to sustain this commitment year round.”

To qualify for the Health Champion designation, a company or organization must meet the healthy living criteria in three areas:
1. Nutrition and Weight Management: Five of 12 criteria such as offering healthy food choices, promoting nutritional information and providing healthy vending options
2. Physical Activity: Four of nine criteria, such as participating in ADA physical activity events, facilitating walking or biking to work and encouraging taking the stairs
3. Organizational Well-Being: Having an organizational smoke-free policy and three of nine additional criteria, such as having a designated wellness program coordinator, a wellness committee, or a contracted wellness company available to staff/members and integrating health topics/information into internal communications

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, its mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.