- Ackerman School
SSD Wins 2021 Business Health Culture Award
November 30, 2021 - Accessible online health resources and adherence to CDC guidelines were instrumental in garnering SSD the 2021 Business Health Culture Award from the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition (BHC).
The BHC is a nonprofit organization representing more than 70 area employers. The organization works to help member organizations improve health, achieve transparency, and align recognition and rewards. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Elizabeth Keenan, Chief Operations Officer Jeff Haug, and Manager of Insurance and Benefits Brenda Dooley-Artis were presented the award at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton on Nov. 18.
The distinction reflects SSD’s ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of more than 6,000 staff members through its Wellness Program. When staff have access to health-related resources and work in a health-conscious space, they can create an environment that fosters success for SSD students.
“Wellness has always been an important issue,” says Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Keenan, “but the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to review and revise how we meet the increased healthcare needs of our staff.”
In 2020, the District made several online, health-related platforms available for staff. Fitness classes are offered through Wellbeats, a program that includes nutrition and mindfulness training. Employees also can sign up for Wondr Health (formerly Naturally Slim), a program aimed at helping people eat healthy foods to prevent obesity and diabetes. Staff who need to speak with a medical provider about any condition can use Teledoc®, a virtual resource offered through the District’s health insurance provider, Aetna.
Mental healthcare for staff also has moved to virtual or digital delivery platforms. Licensed counselors are available in real time for behavioral health consultations through Teladoc®, phone calls, or mobile phone texting. Staff also can find a wealth of mental health resources and information on other wellbeing topics through Personal Assistance Services (PAS) (use access code “SSD”), which is the provider for SSD’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Making SSD’s employees feel safe and comfortable was at the forefront of the District’s decision last year to adopt the CDC’s guidelines for contact tracing, temperature checks, social distancing, masks, hand washing, and sanitation stations. The installation of plexiglass dividers at workstations also has provided employees with additional protection and peace of mind.
Support for wellness initiatives is available for SSD employees at their worksites as well. The District boasts a robust Wellness Champion Network—staff members who are charged with promoting programs and services to employees on their journey to better health. These champions can organize friendly, team-based challenges and activities and encourage staff participation. Additionally, staff can get screenings for some health concerns and benefits information at the annual SSD Health Fair, held at the Central Office location in August.