Creating a Culture of Health & Wellness, Inclusive of Women in the Workplace

As Director of Employee Health Services, I lead the charge over a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare providers who provide onsite medical, health and wellness services for over 11,000 employees at Sandia National Labs. With vision and dedication, this has developed into an NCQA-recognized and AAAHC-accredited medical clinic offering acute care and emergency services, occupational health, chronic disease lifestyle management and preventive health, behavioral health, physical therapy and medical case management, via one-on-one and group health coaching, wellness incentive programs, fitness classes and facilities, and more.

My passion during the past 20-years included creating a culture of health, inclusive of women in the workplace, in a government owned – contractor operated predominantly male environment. One of my team’s recent “Working Well Initiatives” has centered around creating corporate spaces called “Energy Hubs” which are research-derived, purpose-built spaces that foster employee productivity, health and safety, and diversity and inclusion.

The 19 Energy Hubs that were implemented have improved employee health, balance and well-being. They offer a private space for a moment of calm for individuals needing to recharge from a bout of multi-tasking or overexposure from a collaborative work space. The Energy Hubs also support diversity and inclusivity at the engineering lab by providing a clean, quiet, private space for nursing mothers to reserve.

Other important benefits of the Energy Hubs include:

  • Increases Movement: Interrupting prolonged bouts of sitting/ standing still is metabolically and cognitively beneficial.
  • Improves Creativity: Outdoor energy hubs encourage people to take short breaks or their lunch outside. Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce the effects of stress, boost creativity, and improve directed attention when you return to task.
  • Restores Posture: Energy Hubs provide space, equipment and instructor to help users correct and strengthen posture – improving circulation and reducing the risk of injury.
  • Reduces Effects of Stress: Energy hubs promote and support mindfulness practices via guided visualizations and meditations on a touch-screen computer.