Penn’s “Be in the Know” campaign is, in its fifth year, offering full-time and part-time benefits-eligible employees at the University even more opportunities to learn about their health and take concrete steps to maintain or improve it.
“We’re really trying to create a culture of health here at Penn,” says Chris Hyson, Penn’s senior health and wellness specialist. “We know the work we do is important, but we also know that work-life balance and feeling healthy is equally important. This is a wonderful opportunity for Penn to support employees in making the healthy choices that are so impactful in our lives.”
The program this year is offering more cash incentives than ever before—up to $200, less applicable taxes—and more options for earning them. On-campus biometric screenings are available at a variety of locations now through Tuesday, Nov. 22, with more to be offered in 2017. Participants will learn their blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels and blood sugar, and will receive immediate feedback on their results. The screenings are conducted by the third-party professional organization, AREUFIT, and no personal health data are provided to Penn.
Completing the “core actions" of a biometric screening and a subsequent brief online health assessment earns participants a $100 incentive payment. Employees can then choose to earn additional incentives with either the “Easy Choice” or “Custom” tracks by completing bonus actions such as receiving a flu vaccine, getting an annual physical, attending an on-campus wellness event, or completing activities on the StayWell portal, which relaunches on Monday, Oct. 24. For the first time this year, participants in the Custom track can also earn points for physical activity, such as exercising at home or a gym, or even participating in a community race, such as a 5K or triathlon.
Also new this year, employees can receive all their incentive in their paycheck or receive a credit to Campus Recreation. If they choose the Campus Recreation credit, they can use the funds toward a first-time Penn fitness facility membership or select programs and services such as group exercise classes and massage therapy. Otherwise, funds for completed activities will appear in employee paychecks every other month, starting in November.
Prize drawings will reward employees who have made completing the “Be in the Know” activities a habit.
“We think it’s important that people take advantage of the offerings each and every year, and we want to reward that loyalty,” Hyson says. “From the cumulative aggregate reports we receive from StayWell, we’re starting to see some improvements in our biometric screening numbers and we’re hopeful that the campaign will keep making a difference in people’s health.”