'Know Your Numbers' helps Emory employees make healthy choices

Emory Report | Sept. 24, 2019

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The “Know Your Numbers” health screenings held at 85 on-site events earlier this year provided 7,400 Emory employees with important information about their health. You can still earn health plan incentives for screenings through Oct. 25.

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The “Know Your Numbers” health screenings held at 85 on-site events at Emory Healthcare and Emory University earlier this year provided 7,400 Emory employees with important information about their health.

The screenings measured key biometric numbers including blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index (BMI) and body composition. Both employees and spouses earned a $75 Emory medical plan incentive for completing the screening.

“We were very pleased with our employees’ feedback about the events. Our exit surveys showed that 97% of employees felt that the onsite screenings are a valuable benefit offered by Emory, but, more importantly, 88% reported that the information learned during their screening influenced them to make positive changes in their lifestyle behaviors,” says Dawn McMillian, senior wellness specialist.

“A big reason we offer these screenings is to build awareness with employees about their health and how their daily choices can make a big impact. It is inspiring to know that the screenings were the spark that assisted many employees in making positive lifestyle changes.”

While no additional onsite screenings are planned, employees can still schedule biometric screenings with their physicians or the Emory Healthcare Employee Health Office. Screenings completed by Oct. 25 will receive the 2019 incentive.

Zainab Wurie-Harvey, from Faculty Affairs Administration in the School of Medicine, feels that modeling healthy eating is important, especially since she had her son in 2018. 

“I breastfeed, so what I eat, he eats. In addition, he is starting to eat real foods, so it’s important that I show my child healthy eating habits,” she says. “I feel it’s my responsibility as the mom of the family to set the tone for what that looks like.”

Maintaining a healthy body weight has always been a concern for Wurie-Harvey, which is what pushed her to participate in this year’s “Know Your Numbers” screening.

“You only have one body, so why not do your best to take care of it?” she asks. “Emory is trying to help you in this process, and only positives can come from participating in a Know Your Numbers screening. It’s free, there’s an incentive; nothing negative can come from participating in this program.”

Wurie-Harvey’s spouse also participated in the screening, free of charge, because he wanted to support his wife in charting a healthier lifestyle for their growing family. “His numbers were creeping up toward the unhealthy range, and diabetes runs in his family, so knowing that also made making this change more important for me,” she says.

After being screened, the next step was for employees to enter their biometric screening results into the online health risk assessment found in Healthy Emory Connect. Employees earned an additional Emory medical plan incentive of $25 for completing this brief questionnaire.

The biometric results and the answers from a series of health behavior questions combine to create a personalized and easy-to-implement health action plan. Healthy Emory encourages employees to share both their biometric screening results and their health risk assessment results with their health care provider and discuss next steps as appropriate.

Steps toward better health

Healthy Emory offers a wide variety of health and wellbeing programs for employees.

Quest Diagnostics, the third-party vendor that conducted Emory’s health screenings, summarized the 2019 screening data in an aggregate report:

  • Participation: 7,400
  • Blood pressure: 48% high risk, 44% normal, 8% moderate risk
  • Total cholesterol: 67% low risk; 33% moderate or high risk
  • HDL cholesterol: 45% low risk; 55% moderate or high risk
  • Total/HDL cholesterol ratio: 89% low risk; 11% moderate or high risk
  • Glucose: 96% normal; 4% at risk for diabetes
  • Body mass index: 1% under; 34% normal; 32% over; 33% obese
  • Body composition for men: 32% optimal; 34% moderate risk; 34% high risk
  • Body composition for women: 45% optimal; 28% moderate risk; 27% high risk