Employee wellness is a joint effort

Three Rochester health-related operations are joining forces to help businesses create wellness programs that improve worker health and reduce health care costs.

"Companies want to do this. They know it's needed, but they're floundering," says Joan Wardof Work Smart Physical Therapy."They just don't know how to do it."

That's where the ROI Groupcomes in.

Ward, who also owns ActivePTtherapy clinics in Rochester and Plainview,  is working with Donald E. Williamsof DecisionPoint Behavioral Healthand Greg Lappinof the Rochester Athletic Club.

"We're like a three-legged stool. We complement each other," says Lappin, who brought the trio together.


ROI, officially launching next week, will assess how a business is spending its health care dollars and offer a plan to improve results for employees, while reducing the cost.

"The whole goal is a healthier and frankly less expensive workforce," says Williams, who focuses on stress management and mental health issues.

Citing national statistics, he says stress-related problems cost employers about $5,000 per employee each year, adding that two-thirds of Americans are classified as obese.

"There are lots of different numbers, but it is obvious that obese employees cost businesses more than ones with healthier weight levels," Lappin says.

To address that, the RAC offers businesses weight management programs, educational classes as well as fitness memberships.

Ward, whose Work Smart firm handles ergonomics and physical therapy issues, says whether a business is concerned about workplace injuries, a rise in use of sick days or how to create a more positive atmosphere, those goals must be achieved cost effectively.

"It is important to show that return on investment," she says. "That's why we called this ROI."

Biz buzz


Broadway Bar & Pizzaran dress rehearsals Friday and this weekend for its opening in the former Timber Lodge Steak House, 4144 U.S. 52 N.

Expect the train-themed Minnesota pizza franchise to open for real on Monday,

• Picking this up was kind of taxing, but the word in downtown Rochester is that a federal agency is looking for a new home. With plenty of empty space available, it may not be an E-Z decision.

I'll keep auditing this one to see what happens.

What To Read Next
Get Local