Convenience store chain launches wellness program

Sheetz – one of the country’s fastest-growing, family-owned and operated convenience store chains – recently announced plans to build a new health and wellness center located at its distribution facility in Claysburg, Pennsylvania.

The company, with more than $4.9 billion in revenue this year and more than 14,000 employees, is planning to open its new facility in fall 2012 with a main goal of improving employee health and offering enhanced work place benefits.

“Providing ways for our employees to learn how to have healthier lifestyles by giving them the tools they need to achieve and maintain good health supports a culture of ‘Shwellness’ in our company, where people want to get healthy,” said Bill Young, director of compensation, benefits and risk management at Sheetz. “Like many companies across the country, we recognize that having healthier employees helps us manage our health care costs, improves our productivity and sets Sheetz apart as a great place to work.”

The 2,200-square-foot health and wellness center will include fitness equipment, a quarter-mile-long exercise track, health assessment and disease management services, and lifestyle coaching available to employees and their families. The facility is part of a larger Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified 10,000-square-foot facility that also will feature a conference center.

“By combining a fitness center with health and wellness services, we can work with employees who may be at risk for disease such as heart disease and diabetes to help them lower those risks and lead healthier and longer lives,” Young added. “We believe our regular screenings may identify health issues employees didn’t know they have, and by providing a variety of health and wellness options and lifestyle coaching to address those issues just makes sense for everyone.”

The wellness initiative will work to lower employer-based health insurance premiums and foster an environment of productivity and increased morale. Sheetz is recognized as one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania over the past year, with different initiatives aimed at keeping employees happy and now healthy.

Live Well recently highlighted several components of a successful corporate health and wellness program. Dr. Roger Muller, market medical director for UnitedHealthcare’s Pacific Northwest Region, wrote that developing a detailed plan with information from past insurance claims and employee surveys while encouraging full employee participation are effective techniques.