Stephanie Pearl takes great advantage of Dana-Farber’s Well-Being Program, including Harvard Pilgrim-supported programs such as healthy eating, stress reduction and mindfulness meditation.

Cultivating best selves reaps healthy rewards

It’s easy to connect the dots between employee and employer well-being. After all, healthier employees lead to stronger levels of engagement, productivity and satisfaction, along with reduced absenteeism.

Deb Hicks gets all that. But as chief human resources and inclusion officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, she takes an even broader view. Given the focus of the Institute’s world-renowned work, it’s no big surprise that its faculty and staff Well-Being Program features a holistic, fully integrated approach. And, by partnering with Harvard Pilgrim, they’ve further enhanced the program with several innovative wellness initiatives benefiting employees and, in turn, the Institute.

“An integral part of Dana-Farber’s workplace strategy is our belief that wellness should be a fully integrated part of who we are as an organization and as individuals. This is incredibly challenging work, and supporting the well-being of our faculty and staff is the right thing to do,” notes Hicks. “We’re here to help them improve their job and life satisfaction, and be their best selves.”

Collaborating to add value
Based on the foundation of a long-term relationship, Harvard Pilgrim and Dana-Farber have collaborated to bring additional valuable components to the Institute’s well-being strategy. Common threads of the new programs include convenience and accessibility. For example, programs focused on healthy eating, mindfulness meditation, eye exams and stress management are made available where and when employees need them.

“Harvard Pilgrim sat down with us to really understand our specific needs,” adds Hicks. “They provided guidance and support for the development, introduction and implementation of new programs.”

Taking full advantage
Among those taking full advantage of the program is Stephanie Pearl, a clinical research contracts associate and one of several Well-Being Program Ambassadors across the organization. “I believe that everyone has an obligation to take care of their health as best they can within their own capabilities,” she explains. “A preventive mindset helps me take control of my health, and it saves me time and money. Dana-Farber and Harvard Pilgrim are giving me great opportunities and resources to do that.

“Support and commitment from senior management for our well-being have been tremendous,” adds Pearl. “They walk the walk, and that speaks volumes.”