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UR Medicine Employee Wellness Launches Community-Based Services Through Jordan Health

  By Ivy Burruto
  Friday, March 18, 2022

The UR Medicine Employee Wellness program has launched an initiative to bring its successful wellness offerings to the community.

Through the Jordan Health Initiative, the UR Medicine Center for Employee Wellness (CEW) will work collaboratively with the team at Woodward Health Center to provide an array of health and wellness services to the community, making preventative health care more accessible and improving health equity and literacy.

Since 2012, the CEW, run out of the University of Rochester School of Nursing, has offered comprehensive wellness services to organizations in the region ranging from 50 to 25,000 employees. The nurse-driven program consists of an online personal health assessment filled out by the employee; a biometric screening, which gives real-time results of clinical measurements such as blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol levels; and immediate personalized wellness coaching delivered by the nurse during the screening.


The results, with permission, can be shared with the employee’s primary care provider, connecting the workplace program with the employee’s ongoing care plan. The program also offers one-to-one condition management coaching programs for a number of chronic conditions.  For the Jordan Health Initiative, UR Employee Wellness will adapt their model to meet the needs of the community while integrating existing Jordan Health services for the greatest benefit to patients.

Over the years, the CEW has garnered a reputation for its proven clinical outcomes and engagement metrics in its client-centered condition management programs.

Recent studies, presented at the American Heart Association conference and published in the journal Circulation, have shown that participants in the CEW’s condition management program were able to make sustained changes in medication adherence, time spent exercising, and in lowering their body mass index, which contributes to better overall health.

The idea for the pilot program at Jordan Health was first initiated by Kathleen Parrinello, RN, PhD, chief operating officer and executive vice president at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She created a task force with Renu Singh, MS, senior associate dean for pperations, at the School of Nursing and CEO of UR Medicine Employee Wellness, Amy L. DeMott, RN, MBA, director of employee wellness and travel health, and Lisa H. Norsen, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, professor of clinical nursing at the UR School of Nursing and chief wellness officer for UR Medicine Employee Wellness. Program outcomes will be reported through the Health Equity Program Support Office at URMC, overseen by its director Wendy Parisi, MS.

“We are so excited to bring our programs to Jordan. Our coaches have a long history of working with people to meet them where they are, understand their needs, their abilities, their challenges, and their desires and ultimately to help them improve their health and well-being. We are committed to meeting the needs of the Jordan community,” said Norsen.

Support for the direct patient care model came from the state-wide funded Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program, which invests in provider-led projects aimed to redesign and reform the health care delivery system to improve health outcomes for the population.

Providers at Woodward Health Center evaluated the area of greatest need for disease management coaching and determined that patients diagnosed with diabetes would be the initial focus of the Jordan Health Initiative pilot program.

Since the program’s launch in January 2022, Vestina Turner, RN, a project nurse at the UR School of Nursing, has been working as a wellness coach at the center providing support, counseling, and educating patients experiencing diabetes. Over the next several of months, Turner will evaluate the overall impact of the diabetes program and expand her reach by offering services to patients with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity.

“Working in the condition management side of UR Medicine Employee Wellness, I was looking forward to the opportunity to expand wellness coaching into the community, offering support specifically for patients diagnosed with diabetes, as well as those looking for opportunities to gain some insight in ways to improve overall health,” said Turner. “While it is still in the startup phase, I think providing support that does not just include medication can have a positive impact on ways patients can approach overall health.”

By 2023, the CEW hopes the success at the Woodward Health Center will jumpstart the process of expanding the program to offer wellness services at more locations in areas that experience limited access to wellness and prevention services.

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