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In the News: Raleigh Company Uses Its Own Wellness Services to Improve the Health of Its Employees

At Orthus Health, the data-driven wellness and condition management company is leveraging its own unique resources to help employees improve and manage their personal health.

See the original article on WRAL TechWire here.

by Abbey Slattery

In today’s office landscape, amenities reign supreme. From on-site cafes to gyms and green spaces, employees are continuing to seek out workplaces that offer more than simply a desk and a coffee machine.

Often at the top of the amenities list? Wellness programs. In fact, according to a survey from Virgin HealthMiles Inc. and Workforce Management Magazine, 77 percent of employees felt that a wellness program provided a positive effect on the overall company culture.

At Orthus Health, the company is uniquely positioned to use its own resources to provide employees with a cutting-edge wellness program. For more than 20 years, the Raleigh-based company has been utilizing their data-driven wellness and condition management programs to not only better the health of their clients, but also the health of their own employees.

“The overall mission of Orthus Health is to educate and engage employees,” said Mark Ruby, vice president of Sales for Orthus Health. “We provide actionable knowledge to help them understand their near-term, modifiable risk, and we support them in making healthy lifestyle changes.”

To achieve this goal, individuals are paired with a dedicated virtual Orthus Health coach. Each coach is a HIPAA-trained professional who talks over health issues and goals with their clients on whatever basis they choose, whether daily, weekly or monthly. For employees of Orthus Health, the coaching program is one of the premium perks of employment.

“I’ve worked with the company for about a year and a half, two years, and I’m a typical 30-something-year-old guy. I don’t have a relationship with a doctor. I’m not seeing anybody annually. I’m not doing my preventive care screenings,” admitted Bob Powers, an account manager at Orthus Health who utilizes the program. “My coach really pushes me, ‘You’ve got to go get checked, you’ve got to go get checked.’ And so I did. Luckily, I didn’t have diabetes, but I was definitely prediabetic.”

Powers continued, “I am able to virtually work with my coach at times that are convenient for me. My particular coach helps primarily with my diet, but we also have exercise physiologists, RNs and nutritionists. The culture here affords me the capability to say that my health is important. They want me to be here and to be able to work and do my job. And they understand that part of that is making sure I’m taking care of my personal health.”

As Powers mentioned, the emphasis on employee health and wellbeing is a major component of Orthus Health’s overall company culture.

Since many office jobs are sedentary — according to U.S. News & World Report, around 86 percent of American workers sit all day at their jobs — the company encourages employees to stay active and focused on their health. Not only does this benefit them in the long term, but it also makes the workplace more positive overall.

“Just by participating in wellness activities relating to exercise and diet and nutrition, you become much healthier, but then that also flows over to your whole life, so not only your personal life, but also your professional life,” Ruby said. “When you come into work, you have energy, you’re not dragging in, and just the atmosphere and people are very happy. They feel better, and then obviously that leads to higher productivity.”

In addition to coaching access, being an employee at Orthus Health also means getting an inside look at the latest innovations in wellness before they’re launched. Before the company released their mobile app, employees were able to test it before opening it up to the general public. The app engages employees with personalized digital wellness, empowering them to avoid emerging risk or better manage chronic conditions.

“More and more people are used to using mobile apps, so we have a very robust mobile app version of our wellness platform,” Ruby explained. “They’re able to basically do everything there — register for onsite screenings, fill out the disease risk assessment and even tie in their Fitbit or Garmin. There’s a wealth of information on weight management and how to manage diabetes and heart disease too.”

Although Ruby is a relatively healthy individual, he still takes advantage of the app’s features, like step challenges, and diet and exercise trackers. By utilizing Orthus Health’s resources to make his wellness a priority, Ruby was even able to continue working during his cancer treatment.

“I was diagnosed with cancer, and I had to go through chemotherapy. One thing the physician said is, each individual should be investing in their health, because you don’t know when you’re going to have to pull on those reserves,” Ruby said. “For me, by using Orthus Health tools — and I’ve used them for quite a few years — I was able to have a pretty good health status and that made a big difference in managing my cancer and chemotherapy. In fact, even during chemo, I was able to work.”

“You just don’t know what’s around the corner, you know?” Ruby finished. “Maintaining your health pays dividends down the road in different ways.”

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