Eisenhower Wellness Institute Renews Focus
Dr. Jeralyn Brossfield Leads the Charge
When the Eisenhower Wellness Institute (EWI) launched three years ago, it was Eisenhower Medical Center’s inaugural effort to support the community by providing guidance for making healthy lifestyle choices. Programs were tailored to meet individual objectives concerning midlife changes, weight management, sports medicine, memory preservation, stress management, and integrative health care.
While many of the programs like the Executive Physicals and Lifestyle Programs for Weight Loss flourished, the mission of creating a community-wide culture of health demanded a broader approach. Initially the Institute’s primary offerings were based only in the Argyros Building in La Quinta with a focus on community outreach versus internal efforts.
In June, EMC brought in a new director, 11-year valley veteran, Jeralyn Brossfield, MD, known within the community for her successful medical practice with Dr. Lisa Lindley which promoted healthy lifestyle practices like nutrition, yoga, and meditation, and eventually became the Eisenhower Women’s Health Center. Their integrated approach to medicine delivered results and significantly improved the lives of many grateful clients.
When planning how to expand and revitalize the EWI, Dr. Brossfield embraced a brilliant idea: Start with the health of EMC’s 2,900 employees by bringing the company’s wellness program under the EWI umbrella. “Our administration fully supports a ‘wellness begins at home’ approach where employees will have an increasing number of on site benefits to help enable healthy choices,” states Brossfield.
The most relevant resource Brossfield has referenced for the EWI revitalization is the Cleveland Clinic, one of America’s Top 4 Hospitals according to U.S. News & World Report 2012-2013 “Best Hospitals” rankings. The hospital attributes much of this success to their wellness efforts which are internal and community wide. In a previous Desert Health® interview, The Clinic’s Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Michael Roizen, said “Not only do we develop wellness programs that work for other employers, but we also use them with our own 42,000 employees. We live what we teach.”
Starting with the employee wellness program is not the easiest route as employees aren’t voluntarily walking through the doors, but Brossfield says it’s a necessity. “We need to practice what we preach.” Proposed programs include the implementation of “wellness breaks” where employees are supported in taking a 20-minute break during their work day to participate in a wellness practice of their choice including a guided meditation, shavasana yoga, a nap, or natural light therapy. Wellness breaks are slated to start in five pilot locations in November.
“Our goal is to create a culture of wellness,” she adds. “This boils down to happy employees who are supported – and supporting each other – in a healthy lifestyle.” To create, facilitate and manage these programs, Brossfield has brought on Jayne Robertson as EWI’s new Mind-Body Program Manager. Robertson will be tasked with creating “wellness spaces” within EMC’s valley-wide hospitals and clinics and demonstrating how to use these resources. She will also be creating a network of classes and workshops for both employees and the community with focus on stress management, yoga, meditation, and breath work.
“I am thrilled to be undertaking the role of Mind-Body Program Manager within the Institute,” says Robertson. “What essentially began as a yoga prototype within Eisenhower Women’s Health now has an opportunity to expand its reach deeper into our community.” The intention, she says, is to offer integrated services to those seeking a holistic approach to health. “I’m looking forward to what unfolds within this collective and collaborative setting.”
The EWI space at Argyros will be the primary hub with integrative practitioners offering kinesiology, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, reiki, meditation, yoga, breath work, and certified health coaching. Additionally, satellite programs will be offered at EMC clinics, physicians’ offices, and partner facilities throughout the community.
The Lifestyle Program for Weight Loss and Executive Physicals, renamed Executive Health Programs, will continue under the EWI. Executive Health Programs offer premier medical services with genetic, cardiac, and endocrine laboratory assessments and lifestyle plans based on personal goals.
In November, the Eisenhower Wellness Institute will begin offering Wellness Memberships to the community. These affordable memberships will cover the costs of an initial health assessment, body composition, nervous system/stress assessment, “know your numbers” report, and a goal review and plan. Member benefits will include access to all classes and workshops, options of an on-going lifestyle coaching relationship, EWI’s Wellness Book Club, and input on future programming.
“We hope to become a valued resource for the community,” concludes Brossfield. “And it all starts with happy and healthy employees.”
For more information, contact the Eisenhower Wellness Institute at 760.610.7360.
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