Purdue University, benefits receive two major healthcare recognitions

Candice ShafferRecognition for Purdue University and its benefits department was taken to new heights at the end of the second quarter. In September, two awards were presented based on university healthcare efforts led by Candace Shaffer, director of benefits in Human Resources, her benefits team and the team at One to One Health – the company that that manages the Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. 

“We are honored and greatly appreciate the recognitions we have received,” said Shaffer. “These acknowledgements would not have been received without the combined efforts of all the individuals involved. Our commitment to our employees’ overall health and wellness remains a priority for the university, and being honored for keeping that promise and continuing to work on behalf of the Purdue community speaks volumes.”

AchieveWELL certification

Purdue University has qualified for an AchieveWELL certification through the Wellness Council of Indiana. Purdue was honored at the 2018 Indiana Health & Wellness Summit held in Indianapolis in early September. The Healthy Boiler Wellness Program, introduced in 2018 to promote health and wellness through the university community while providing a way to earn incentives at the same time, paved the way for the Wellness Council of Indiana’s praise and recognition.

Companies that earn the AchieveWELL certification have established a corporate culture that encourages and supports employee health through worksite wellness programs. The Wellness Council of Indiana provides an independent assessment of wellness processes through AchieveWELL and the designation is divided into three levels: Three Star, Four Star and Five Star. The standards are progressive through the Five-Star Award. Purdue University achieved the Four Star level.

“Our goals are elevated now,” Shaffer said. “In 2019 we will work to achieve the 5 Star level AchieveWELL recognition. Our benefits team, the staff at the Center for Healthy Living and many other areas across our campuses support the Healthy Boiler Wellness Program. There’s no doubt we will continue to strengthen and enhance our program to better serve the diverse population of individuals we serve.”

The AchieveWELL process offers a clear understanding of the necessary components of successful worksite wellness and recognizes excellence in the field of health promotion. The Wellness Council of Indiana provides helpful tools, templates and personal coaching to aspiring AchieveWELL organizations.

The AchieveWELL assessment and evaluation is available to all organizations in Indiana.

The Wellness Council of Indiana is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Employee Benefit News’ 2018 Benny Award – Benefits Leadership in Healthcare

The Employee Benefit News’ (EBN) annual “Benny Awards,” as they are called, recognize four individuals in four separate categories (Benefits Professional of the Year, Benefits Leadership in Healthcare, Benefits Leadership in Retirement Planning and Judges’ Choice) for excellence and innovation in the employee benefits/human resources field.

As a result of the healthcare efforts made on behalf of Purdue employees, Shaffer was selected as the “2018 Benefits Leadership in Healthcare” winner and was recognized at the annual Benefits Forum & Expo September 24-26 in New Orleans. Shaffer’s recognition for 2018 stems from advancements made in addressing chronic conditions – specifically type 2 diabetes – and improving access of care to university employees.

To address type 2 diabetes, Purdue partnered with Virta Health, an online specialty medical clinic focusing on treatment of type 2 diabetes to help patients reduce their diabetes medications, lose weight and reduce blood sugars and A1c, without calorie-counting, exercising or more medications. Purdue covers the cost of the program for qualified benefits-eligible employees and spouses – patients from 18 to 69 with type 2 diabetes as well as those with pre-diabetes with a BMI ≥ 35. Preliminary results from the first year show improvements are being made as a result of the partnership and program:

  • 1,344 Purdue employees or covered spouses have applied for Virta
  • 421 of those have enrolled in Virta
  • 1.0 average reduction in A1c
  • 64 percent of diabetes’ prescriptions have been eliminated
  • 61 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes achieved sub-diabetic A1c results
  • 11.4 percent average reduction in body weight
  • 8,802 combined pounds lost

Improving utilization of the Center for Healthy Living on West Lafayette’s campus, to improve access of care to employees was the second major initiative. One to One Health became the onsite clinic provider in July 2017. Several initiatives were launched to improve utilization:

  • Established walk-in and same-day appointment access.
  • Added a community provider to expand access and specialty options.
  • Remodeled the clinic to improve patient experience.
  • Added telephonic wellness options with the center’s pharmacist, dietitian and health coaches to provide convenience to employees not located on the West Lafayette campus.

The results of those efforts to date have been successful. The CHL has seen a 100 percent increase in clinic use, a 15-percent increase in A1c readings, two times more flu shots were administered last year than previous years and the clinic has seen a 90 percent plus patient satisfaction rating.

Candice Shaffer“While I do appreciate our efforts being recognized, this award is a team award and not just about me,” Shaffer explained. “I’m lucky to be able to work with a great group of individuals at my alma mater, which makes it even better. This recognition is about the hard work we do together every day behind the scenes to ensure our employees are provided high-quality, easily accessible and cost-effective options for their health and wellness. We have made great strides in the last year and we will continue to improve and provide for our Purdue community.”

To read more about Shaffer and the impacts she and her team have had on population health (type 2 diabetes and onsite clinic utilization at the university, see the EBN article “High tech to high touch: Taking aim at Type 2 diabetes with virtual coaches.”