By Mary Jo Quintana, EHPP Manager

UNM's Division of Human Resources Employee Health Promotion Program partners with third party administrators Lovelace and Presbyterian to bring a useful tool to help employees stay healthy. By staying healthy, employees help themselves improve their quality of life, but they also help UNM control health care costs, since UNM funds all medical claims. According to research, staying healthy plays a significant role – 30 percent – in controlling health care costs.

Between October and December, UNM employees can participate in a personal health assessment. PHAs are Web-based tools used to assess the level and nature of health risks and to provide recommendations for improved health. They are a critical part of wellness programs.

Reasons to complete a PHA:

  • Individual health awareness, education and intervention: The PHA is used to increase awareness of personal health risks for making lifestyle changes on your own, with the support of EHPP services or more intensive counseling services from Lovelace and Presbyterian. Annual completion of a PHA allows you to monitor your risks and take the information to your health care provider for collaborative care.

  • Connecting individuals to wellness resources: Participating in a PHA gives an opportunity to connect with resources such as wellness coaches and disease management services to assist in reducing health risks.

  • Strategic design of wellness programs: Aggregate PHA data will be used as baseline data that provides direction for EHPP to design programs that meet employees' needs. Programs can be designed to address the modifiable health risk factors most prevalent in UNM's workforce.

All UNM benefit-eligible employees can participate in a PHA. Participating is voluntary and information is confidential. Employees can participate in the PHA even if they do not take advantage of other Preventive Health Days activities.

Go to Human Resources, click "Wellness" and then "Current Initiatives," or call EHPP at (505) 272-4460.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Healthier Worksite Initiative and Wellness Councils of America, Choosing the Right HRA.