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New Ulm Medical Center

Helping businesses keep their employees healthy

New Ulm Medical Center’s Worksite Services provides an innovative way to keep employees at local companies healthy and productive.

Employees don’t even have to take time off from work to come to the medical center for certain health care needs, said Deb Beatty, Physical Therapist, and manager of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - New Ulm.

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Kevin Laird (left) and Deb Beatty look on while Bobbi Hauth performs job duties at Windings. As part of the New Ulm Medical Center Worksite Services, Beatty visits Windings once or twice a month to make specific recommendations to employees to help them avoid issues such as carpal tunnel.

What the team can offer

The Worksite Services team includes Beatty; Kathy Runck, manager of the laboratory and Occupational Medicine; Wellness Specialist Jennifer Maurer, who provides organizations with health education and assists with health screenings; Nurse Practitioner Jody Enter, who conducts medical coaching and physical exams; Wellness Specialist Holly Glaubitz, who currently provides worksite services through the Heart of New Ulm Project; and Licensed Practical Nurse Chris Lawrenz, who helps with the flu vaccination clinic and is the liaison between the medical center and workplaces for Occupational Medicine services. A sampling of what the team can do for local businesses includes:

  • Provide flu vaccines at the workplace
  • Provide health education sessions
  • Conduct health screenings required for certain jobs, such as physicals required by the U.S. Department of Transportation for truck drivers
  • Offer employee wellness screenings at the worksite
  • Coordinate worksite services with the Heart of New Ulm research project, a large-scale study underway to reduce heart attacks in New Ulm
  • Ensure employees meet job-related physical requirements, such as being able to lift specific amounts of weight
  • Meet with an employee who is experiencing musculoskeletal pain and assess the workspace to see if some changes to the workstation might make a difference

Worksite Services team members can visit a local business regularly or as needed, said Beatty. Workplaces of all sizes can take advantage of the program, she added.

How one business benefitted

Windings, a local business that makes electric motor and generator components, is one business that benefits from the program. Windings has 85 total employees, and the 45 employees who work in production do some intense handiwork. A couple of years ago, a number of employees experienced carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive-motion injuries. Company leaders wanted to find a way to help them avoid those problems, said Kevin Laird, environmental health and safety tech coordinator.

Beatty visits the workplace once or twice a month to make specific recommendations to employees to ease their aches and pains. One change often made is adjusting the height of the workstation, said Laird. Beatty also helps employees with their body position or advises them on how to hold parts. “They’ve helped us tremendously,” said Laird.

Employees at Windings know not to wait for pain to become intense. Instead, they’ve learned to speak up and ask for help as soon as they feel pain, said Laird. Also, occupational therapists from NUMC visited the Windings workplace in June to educate employees about how hands work and to teach them hand exercises, Laird said.

Currently, as part of the Heart of New Ulm project, employees of organizations located in New Ulm Medical Center’s zip code have received cholesterol checks and other heart-related health checks for free, said Beatty. Going forward, Worksite Services plans to provide wellness-focused activities beyond the end of the research project, on a fee for service basis. A full Heart of New Ulm screening is planned for 2014.

For more information about the Worksite Services Program from New Ulm Medical Center, call 507-217-5454.