Success Stories

Mountain Family Health Centers / Glenwood Springs, CO

Certified Healthy Workplace™ Leader

Health Links (HL): Why did your business decide to become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business?

Mountain Family Health Centers (MFHC): Our company mission is to provide high quality primary medical, dental and behavioral health care in the communities we serve. We go great lengths to making sure that our patients receive the best treatment and experience possible. So, why shouldn't our employees? We truly believe that if we take care of our employees physical, mental and emotional well being and safety, they will be better able to serve our community and have a greater quality of life. For these and other reasons, we chose to become a health links certified business.

HL: What benefits did the Certification bring to your business?

MFHC: While completing the certification process, we were made aware that MFHC has some great policies and programs in place. What we didn't realize, was that not all of our staff was made aware of all that we offer. Our Wellness Committee took it upon themselves to add all of our health and safety programs into our general benefits packets for new hires and gave all current employees general access to our programs. We now have the ability to share all of our programs in one central location online and in each site. 

Another bonus from the certification was recruitment appeal. Our valley is one of the most difficult places to recruit for. People are looking for the whole package, not just a job. This recognition allows us to tell potential employees that we care about the well being and safety of our employees.

HL: How has this Certification changed the way your business thinks about health promotion and safety?

MFHC: In previous years, we qualified for the healthy business leader certification. One thing we didn't realize, was that safety played a huge role in the well being of our staff. For years we had a great safety committee and solid safety policies. Those policies were great but, we were not putting those at the forefront of our employees' needs. We now have safety representation in each clinic and promote one employee safety and awareness training per month. We have found that fewer employees are fatigued and we have fewer workers' compensations claims. This certification is really an evaluation of where our organization is and how we can continue to improve.

HL: How has your employee health and safety program given back to your community?

MFHC: Mountain Family is always giving back to our community. We are a community health center providing service to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Separate from that, we provide a community garden to our patients, hold several free benefit enrollment events and health fairs throughout the valley and show support in our local high schools for students looking for their future career. Our organization would not exist without our community. So, we must take care of our staff so that they are able to continue to serve others.


Original Interview

Health Links (HL): Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?

Mountain Family Health Centers (MFHC): We recognize the incredible impact an employer has on the overall wellbeing of an employee. Providing high-quality, value-based care is what we do as an organization. Therefore, we must show our equal values for this mission in our workforce. Our team must feel equally valued and in the best health possible to deliver the quality care and service our patients expect.

HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees? 

MFHC: Our wellness program gives our employees an opportunity become actively involved in their wellbeing throughout their career at Mountain Family.   Each team member has an opportunity to earn additional paid-time-off (PTO) hours by participating in various personal wellness activities.  Activities include getting annual checkups from a primary care provider, receiving biometric screenings, volunteering in the community, participating in the Weigh and Win Program, having a recreation or gym membership, visiting the dentist regularly and much much more.  Employee Participation in our wellness program is over 98% and 98% of our workforce participated in biometric screenings.  We continue to drive this success through our appointment of a wellness champion who directs the members of our Wellness Committee in representing and promoting well-being and safety throughout our 7 locations and all departments.

Mountain Family also promotes a strong culture of safety and security with an in-house safety committee made up of representatives across all of our 7 locations and departments.  The safety committee meets once per month and each member is responsible for promoting a strong safety and security culture throughout the organization.  As a result of our success, our workers' compensation experience quotient for safety has decreased from 2.01 in 2011 to .99 in 2016.  The industry average experience quotient score is 1.0.

HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?

MFHC: Nothing in our wellness program is required and yet employee participation in our wellness program is 98% and 98% of our workforce chose to participate in having biometric screenings in 2016.  This speaks to how actively involved our team is in their personal health and wellbeing. As a result, MFHC has decreased the workforce obese/overweight percentage 11% since 2015. 

Our Worker Compensation experience quotient for safety is .99 with 1.0 being average.  This score is down from 2.01 in 2011.  The incorporation of the Weigh and Win program allows for everyone in the community including our employees to participate in getting healthier. Since October of 2015, the Weigh and Win program has had 449 unduplicated participants who have lost a total of 394 pounds. 

HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?

MFHC: Creating a voluntary program that provided incentive and excitement without feeling like we were taking something away from our team members.  It also had to be financially viable for our organization, impactful to the community, our employees and their families. 

HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?

MFHC: Yes, our program also allows for staff to earn additional PTO hours by volunteering in the community.  45% or 71 employees out of 157 volunteered in 2016.  32 of those 71 volunteered more than once.  The Weigh and Win program (sponsored by Kaiser Permanente) is offered to everyone in our community and provides a chance for everyone to earn cash and other prizes for losing weight.  Mountain Family’s has directed our wellness champion, Devon Vondette dedicate additional work time to the Workforce Wellness Advisory Group.  A group dedicated to making Garfield County the healthiest county in Colorado. 

HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?


  • Have a clear vision for why to start a program and the benefits it will yield to staff and the organization. 
  • Gain leadership support by having a clear plan of action. 
  • Collaboration is key. 
  • Start a wellness committee made up of representatives from across the organization.
  • A wellness program is a living and breathing plan that should evolve. Communicate clearly and often to staff about any changes and successes. 
  • The program should be easy to understand, participate in and manage.