Yesterday Merit Medical Salt Lake City was recognized as a Utah Business Magazine 2019 Healthcare Hero, an award that honors healthcare providers and professionals that demonstrate excellence and innovation within the healthcare system and go above and beyond for their employees, their patients, their communities, and their fields. Merit specifically won the Corporate Initiative category for its numerous unique wellness programs and having a company culture that puts employees first. Nicole Priest, MD, Merit Medical Chief Wellness Officer, accepted the honor on the company’s behalf at an awards luncheon at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
“I am thrilled and honored to accept the Utah Business Magazine 2019 Healthcare Hero Award on behalf of Merit Medical,” says Dr. Priest. “I am very appreciative of the fact that our efforts have been recognized because we do so much to try and improve the health and well-being of our employees.”
A top priority at the Utah-based company is ensuring employees and their families have access to quality and affordable care. Merit Salt Lake City provides excellent health insurance as well as an on-site health clinic and a free dental clinic. Highly trained, in-house health professionals include a physician, nutritionist, employee assistance counselor, and chief wellness officer to oversee Merit employee health and happiness and to lead a number of employee health initiatives.
These initiatives include optional biometric screenings that help employees set and reach personal wellness goals. They can then participate in programs designed to improve individual health needs and incorporate positive lifestyle change. Employees can also engage in multiple wellness education opportunities throughout the year that equip them with the most up-to-date health information and recommendations.
The award also took into consideration the employee garden designed to improve employee mental and physical health by creating more balance in the workday and providing access to fresh produce. The 1-acre parcel of land comprises 82 employee garden boxes, a small orchard of fruit trees, a greenhouse, and a separate area to grow produce for the Merit Cafés. Everything grown in the garden is by sustainable-farming standards, and no commercial pesticides are used; only OMRI-listed products are permitted.
But for employees, the garden supplies more than fresh produce. It delivers something else equally valuable—an outdoor oasis that tackles stress relief. Employees can be found at the garden enjoying their lunches and breaks, taking a moment to enjoy a bit of urban nature. The Merit garden also instills a sense of community. Employees have the opportunity to tend plants side-by-side, enjoy after-work harvest parties, and participate in annual plant sales that benefit employees in need during the holidays. Other perks include gardening and cooking workshops held throughout the year led by Merit’s full-time gardener. Explore the Merit employee garden.
More pathways to healthy eating can be found in the on-site Merit Cafés. In addition to the produce received from the employee garden (900 lb harvested and used in 2018), the Merit Café kitchen staff works creatively with Merit’s chief wellness officer and nutritionist to improve the menu, continually searching for ways to make dishes more nutritious and less calorie-dense.
Along with an extensive menu and salad bar options, foods are labeled with Healthy Choice and Merit Garden stickers to help employees identify healthier foods and those made with items from the employee garden, respectively. For busy employees and their families, the kitchen staff prepares healthy Grab-and-Go options as a healthier alternative to the drive-thru.
Merit Salt Lake City was also recognized as a Healthcare Hero for its workplace safety. Employees are trained in Hands-Only CPR and early defibrillation with an AED emergency device, preparing them for a cardiac arrest emergency. These trained employees are in addition to a team of skilled, on-campus first responders. Although the facility exceeds the number of AEDs required, extra devices are placed throughout to increase workplace safety. Read about this year’s CPR and AED Awareness Week with employee safety training.
Join us in celebrating this honor, a recognition that shows our passion for improving employee quality of life. Visit our Careers page to learn more about becoming a member of our team and the many benefits offered at each facility.