How Horizon is Helping Employees Be Healthy

Christie Ruff, Regional Director, Employee Health, Wellness and Safety

Employee Health Wellness & Safety has evolved into a department with multiple focuses: Injury Prevention, Occupational Health & Safety, Employee Health and Employee Wellness. 

Our services have expanded to provide in-house respirator fit testing and on-site clinics for employees for COVID-19 swabbing and vaccinations, including booster clinics. Our team of dedicated professionals have embraced technology to enhance the ability to consult with our employees all over the province by offering video appointments on Microsoft Teams.  

Employee Health, Wellness & Safety has been monitoring the increased number of cases of COVID-19 in our province and amongst our staff. When we began to see a surge in cases, we needed to find a way to support our employees as we navigate a surge through the summer months. 

We launched three new initiatives to support our employees through this surge: an employee greeter program at our four large regional hospitals that have see an increase in outbreak units, on-site COVID-19 booster clinics and an enhanced outdoor seating project.  

Random acts of kindness is the mantra for a new initiative that will provide positive reinforcement for health care workers at Horizon. In recent weeks, our Wellness team has rolled out an  employee greeter program. They have collaborated with local unions and hospital foundations to create gift bags to employees who are following all of our Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) policies.

The employee greeters will be at different entrances at different times through the month of August.  They also have Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) brochures, extra masks, if needed, and point of care tests. A reminder to our staff: If you’re wearing a mask and washing your hands upon entry to our facility, you may win a prize — it’s that simple! 

On-site booster clinics will be held every Wednesday in August (starting Aug. 10) for employees at our four large regional hospitals. Increasing accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines was requested by our employees and we are excited to have this available for them.

Our enhanced outdoor seating project is to encourage our staff to eat outside as much as possible — enjoying the fresh air while getting out of crowded break rooms. To support this, we are reviewing all areas outdoor seating capacity and adding additional picnic tables for our staff to enjoy during the next few months. You will continue to see new picnic tables around our facilities and we are excited to see our employees enjoying the new seating. 

In the past we have used various other models to ensure compliance with protocols, however, we felt that at this time a positive, engaging approach would have a greater impact.   It has! Our health care workers are loving it! There are lots of smiles and words of encouragement being shared.