“A well worker is a willing worker,” says Donna St. Louis, vice president of business development, community health and employer engagement for BayCare health System.
St. Louis is a tenured health care professional. She began in the field as a nurse in 1978, eventually moving into more operations and business development roles throughout her career. She joined BayCare in 2007 as vice president of outpatient imaging and surgical services.
At BayCare, she helped create a new arm of the business development team—employer solutions.
“I immediately fell in love with [the concept] because I realized how much information, and knowledge, was lacking in the employer space, as far as health and wellness,” she says. “BayCare is a community-based health system. We’re here to make the lives better of the community we serve.”
Before COVID-19, Baycare already had put the wheels in motion to bring health and wellness screenings out into the community. When the pandemic hit, it put a stop to some of those efforts, but the team mobilized and pivoted, bringing COVID testing to sites like Raymond James Stadium and Tampa International Airport.
“COVID actually opened up a whole realm of opportunities for my team,” St. Louis says. In addition, employers were reaching out, wanting to know about infection prevention at their workplaces.
“COVID was kind of a blessing. Obviously, we wish it would have never happened, but it really helped us to think outside the box on how we can help our community and, ultimately, our employers,” she says.
Most employers have wellness dollars in their budgets, so BayCare seeks to make it easy for them to determine where, and how, to use that money. Screenings, exercise classes and biometrics screenings are all offerings that employers can consider providing to their employees, via BayCare’s offerings.
One of the most topical offerings—in the month of October—is breast cancer screenings. One of the wellness offerings BayCare provides is the Mammo Party.
“An employer can bring their female employees, that are eligible to have a mammogram, to our sites and hold a Mammo Party, we have some snacks, we do mammograms, wec have goodie bags … we try to make it an enjoyable experience, even though it’s not really an enjoyable experience,” St. Louis says.
Wellness, diet and exercise are the pillars in maintaining a happy and healthy workforce, St. Louis says.
“You’re not taught this in school. You’re not taught how to take care of your health,” she says. “I think it’s an obligation to our community to make sure that we’re helping employers do the best that they can.”
Whether it’s facilitating screenings, promoting activities such as meditation and yoga or offering vaccines to your team members, there are a number of ways organizations such as BayCare can help you keep your staff feeling well.
“I think encompassed in our employer solution arm we have everything that an employer could really need or offer.”