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An Ounce of Prevention
A personal wellness analysis puts employees on the path to good health


Wellnet's Patti Moninghoff, right, tests Maggie Montgomery's cholesterol.

Maggie Montgomery knows all about diabetes. Two of her siblings live with it, as does her daughter and ex-husband. But Montgomery, a Hopkins Hospital environmental services employee, had always downplayed her own health.

Then, one day last March, Montgomery attended a staff meeting and heard Patti Moninghoff from Wellnet—a network of preventive health services throughout the Health System and hospital—speak about disease prevention. Montgomery, 55, completed a personal wellness profile. She signed up for Wellnet’s pilot nine-week cardiovascular risk reduction program, where she received a health screening and learned she had a high glucose level. Her physician subsequently diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes.

“It’s a good thing I found out now,” Montgomery says, “so I can keep it from getting worse.” Then she was referred to a disease management program operated by the Health System’s Employee Health Plan. These programs provide free, comprehensive care for employees with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Montgomery now consults with a nutritionist and nurse care manager, learning how to monitor cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. So far, she’s lost almost 12 pounds and has reduced her blood sugar substantially.

Since 2003, Wellnet and EHP have joined together to provide disease management and preventive programs, including personal wellness assessments that identify potential health risks. Information is shared only with those involved in the employee’s care, not the employer.

Building on the success of programs like these, Linda Dunbar, vice president of care management at Johns Hopkins HealthCare, says more help is on the way: “We’re eager to invest in keeping our staff healthy and health costs down.”

During the open benefit enrollment, which begins this month, employees will be encouraged to complete a personal wellness assessment. Those who do receive a free 30-day pass to the Merritt Athletic Club. 

Montgomery can attest to the benefits of taking charge of her health. “I have so much more energy,” she says.

Judy Minkove

Open Enrollment 2007

Open Enrollment 2007

Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System
Oct. 30–Nov. 13
www.hopkinsmedicine.org/jhhr/BenefitsWellnet/NewsAndEvents

Johns Hopkins University
Nov. 6–Nov. 14

hrnt.jhu.edu/benefits

 

 

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