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Creating a culture of health and wellness

The City of Portland has a unique relationship with its employees–65 percent of its workers are employees for life.

Knowing that nearly two-thirds of its workforce is there to stay, it was important to the City to create a workplace culture of health and wellness to help employees identify health issues sooner and better manage chronic conditions.

Cathy Bless, the City’s benefits manager, said teaming up with Moda Health to create programs like Healthy Foundations, City Strong, and a Preventive Care Initiative help employees improve their health and feel more valued.

“Our goal is to help our employees stay healthy, improve their quality of life, and feel valued as individuals working for the City of Portland, and they are incredibly thankful for it.”

The City began its wellness initiatives by focusing on improving the health of a small group of top utilizers. After recognizing that these employees were not having a good experience in the healthcare system and not getting any better, it decided to focus on getting its employees more engaged in their personal health. The City approached Moda Health to help them come up with unique ways to solve their common problem.

Helping employees engage in their health

The City’s strategy was to launch Healthy Foundations to focus on the most medically complex individuals first, and then to slowly roll out similar services over time to create a culture of health and wellness across its bureaus. In addition to Healthy Foundations, the City and Moda Health created City Strong, an all-inclusive wellness program that provides customized on-site guidance and support to help employees stay fit and be their healthy best.

The City also established a Preventive Care Initiative, which incentivizes employees to get routine checkups to better manage chronic diseases, detect health issues earlier, develop stronger relationships with their providers, and connect with supportive healthcare resources. Within nine months of starting the program, over 98 percent of the City’s employees were in compliance of having a preventive care visit with their doctor, an increase from 72 percent less than a year earlier.

Because many of the City’s employees do not see their doctor on a regular basis, Bless said that bringing health coaches to them has been a convenient way to talk about their health in a more comfortable setting. She added that having more employees get regular preventive care visits helps the City improve the overall health of its workforce and enhances the relationships with its employees.

“Making it easier to connect with Moda’s health coaches has helped many of our employees take an active role in their health. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to take better care of themselves. They show up for work, they are less likely to call in sick, and they are more productive when they feel that their employer cares about them.”

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We have exciting news to share. ODS is changing its name to Moda Health.

Moda comes from the latin term "modus" and means "a way". We picked it because that's what we are here to do: help our communities find a way to better health.

Together, we can be more, be better.

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