An Oakland Medical Center grounds worker who took the THA
When the Oakland Medical Center Landscape Maintenance UBT set out to achieve 100 percent completion of the Total Health Assessment and contribute the facility’s wellness target for PSP, it seemed like an easy thing to do.
“We thought we could do it in a week,” says Philip Osmond, senior gardener, union co-lead, SEIU UHW shop steward. “We were wrong.”
It actually took three weeks.
That’s because half of the members of the culturally diverse department either don’t speak English fluently or had no computer experience either on the job or at home.
“We spend most of our time outdoors and aren’t required to use a computer,” Osmond says.
So Osmond and management co-lead Monica Taylor, support services supervisor, spent lots of one-on-one time helping their colleagues through the time-consuming steps of getting a password from KP.org in order to access the THA.
“If the process was simplified or streamlined, more employees would to complete the THA,” Osmond says.
Still, team members immediately saw the benefits of the online questionnaire that covers nine key areas, including stress, physical activity and eating habits.
For example, maintenance workers are exposed to different weather conditions that can be harmful, such as too much sun, which increases the risk for skin cancer. The THA provides customized plans with steps that team members can take to protect their skin, including wearing clothing specifically designed for hot weather, working in the shade, not working outside during midday, when the sun is most harmful, and using sunscreen.
Since completing the THA, team members are more mindful of their health, says Taylor. “We’re more conscious of protecting ourselves on the job and improving our health. And it’s opened up conversations about how we can look out for each other as well.”
To take the Total Health Assessment, visit www.kp.org/hwf.