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Samaritan Recognized Among Oregon's Healthiest Employers

Samaritan Health Services was honored by the Portland Business Journal on Oct. 21 as Oregon’s third Healthiest Employer in the 1500+ employee category. The Journal’s program promotes the value of workplace wellness and recognizes companies who are demonstrating that they place a high value on the health of their workers through innovation and leadership in their benefits and wellness programs.

Samaritan has topped the list in Oregon for the past two years, outranking several regional and national health care organizations, as well as Fortune 500 high-tech, retail, financial and public utility companies.

Moving to third place after being number one for two consecutive years, demonstrates that employee wellness is gaining statewide momentum. More companies are realizing the many benefits of developing wellness programs,” said Larry Mullins, president and CEO of Samaritan Health Services.  “To see so many companies rise to the challenge and develop innovative approaches to employee wellness is exciting. We welcome the ‘healthy’ competition and will continue to work with our Employee Wellness Council to make sure our programs work for us and deliver positive results”

A significant factor to Samaritan Health Services’ success in workplace wellness has been the efforts to create and nurture a health-focused culture and environment across all areas of business which can be measured and felt in tangible ways:

Increased physical activity – 48% of employees are members of SamFit, the organization’s 24/7 Fitness Center; 68% participate in multiple fitness and wellness programs.

Increased awareness of individual health risks – 89% of employees complete an annual health risk assessment and biometric screening; this year, the opportunity was expanded to spouses, with over 40% choosing to participate.

Reduction of workers compensation claims – A 20% decrease was seen over the previous year, and the total claim count is 40% below the industry standard for hospital systems.

Ultimately, Samaritan believes the cultural and environmental changes experienced by its 5,600 employees and their families will help to change the health behaviors of its neighbors, creating a better future for all who live and work in this region.
It’s always nice to be recognized with an award for something we are doing that is transformative, but really what’s at the heart of what we are doing is building a culture of health,” Mullins concluded. “We are building sustainable programs that create an open dialogue about our company-wide values and beliefs and aligning those with our actions.”

Scoring for the national Healthiest Employers program, sponsored in Oregon by the Portland Business Journal, is conducted by wellness professionals and academics. They rate performance in six key areas of workplace wellness: culture and leadership commitment; foundational components; strategic planning; communications and marketing; programming and interventions; and reporting and analysis. The program recognizes small and large companies that proactively shape the health of their employees and make a commitment to impact the health of their workplace and their bottom line.