Published on May 14, 2021

Ozarks Healthcare announces Opening of Employee Wellness Center

Ozarks Healthcare celebrated the beginning of National Hospital Week and its employees with a surprise announcement about a new benefit available to coworkers focused on their health and wellness.

“We are excited to announce the addition of the Ozarks Healthcare Employee Wellness Center,” Tom Keller, Ozarks Healthcare President and CEO, said. “We are focused on our community’s health, including that of our coworkers. Our hope is that this facility will help all Ozarks Healthcare coworkers live their best quality of life through this added wellness service.”

The Ozarks Healthcare Employee Wellness Center is located in Ozarks Healthcare’s Parkway Center.

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a “Great Place to Work” team composed of Ozarks Healthcare coworkers focused on surveying the entire organization to provide statistical data on possible additions that could be made to the organization to emphasize employee wellness and satisfaction. Survey results showed an employee gym was among the top benefits preferred among coworkers.

“After pausing our progress on the development of our employee wellness center due to COVID-19, we are happy to be able to share this new service with our employees, especially after over a year spent fighting endless hours across all fronts of this pandemic,” Tom Keller, Ozarks Healthcare President and CEO, said. “Being focused on our community’s health also means we are focused on the physical and mental health of our employees. We look forward to our coworkers enjoying an accessible space where they can focus on taking care of their minds and bodies.”

The Employee Wellness Center’s equipment was acquired thanks to a special collaboration with FLO Fitness owner Quanna Hafer of West Plains. A longtime supporter of Ozarks Healthcare and community wellness efforts, FLO Fitness first opened its doors in 2012 in West Plains. Since then, the studio has provided group and individual fitness opportunities for locals. While the decision to close its studio doors in 2021 was not an easy one, passing on resources to Ozarks Healthcare coworkers is a new venture that will still indirectly allow the business to continue the mission of preserving health and wellness within its region, Hafer said.

The Employee Wellness Center includes a cardio theater, strength training equipment including machines and free weights, spin bikes, water rowers, yoga equipment, and more. The Employee Wellness Center is open to coworkers on a 24/7 basis. COVID-19 precautions are currently in place.

“Anyone working in healthcare has felt an increased strain and workload for over the past year,” Brook Keeling, RN and Ozarks Healthcare Critical Care Manager said. “By the time I finish working a shift, I’m often too tired to venture very far to work out or exercise. I’m so excited to have close access to a center where I can relieve stress and maintain my physical and mental health. Being my best self for my patients is important to me as a nurse. The Employee Wellness Center will help me accomplish this and allow me to work on my personal fitness goals.”

In addition to providing a source of stress relief, the new Employee Wellness Center will also help nurses maintain a maximum level of fitness while being even more of a positive influence on patients, Lacey Carter, Executive Director of Nursing at Ozarks Healthcare, said.

“Our nurses literally cover miles of ground in one shift,” Carter said. “From transferring patients to moving equipment, a certain level of strength and stamina is required for them to provide the level of compassionate care we are proud to give to our patients. They also work with some patients who need help with making lifestyle changes necessary to their overall health. When our nurses are physically active themselves, they can have even more of a positive influence on patients regarding changes they are recommending.”

Carter also said the Employee Wellness Center will allow coworkers to be their best for another special group of individuals: coworkers’ families.
“Many often don’t realize how the families of those working in healthcare are impacted by the inevitable stress of the industry, especially as we have all dealt with the heaviness of COVID-19,” Carter said. “Studies have shown good physical health also improves emotional health. Our families sometimes get to be an outlet for our emotions. Now that we have an accessible Employee Wellness Center, we can focus on improving every facet of our wellbeing so that we can enjoy the best quality of time with our families. Not every health system has a facility where coworkers can focus on their own health in addition to that of their patients. I hope this will be even more of a draw for those interested in a career in healthcare in our region.”

Ozarks Healthcare is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any characteristic protected by law. Some job openings include:

RN (Home Health), Ozarks Healthcare At Home – Full time, days, West Plains, MO

Surgical Tech II – Full time, days, some oncall time required, West Plains, MO

Accountant – Full time, days, West Plains, MO

LPN (Neuro-Psych) – Full time, days, West Plains, MO

To apply, learn more about employee benefits, or see more job positions currently available at Ozarks Healthcare, visit https://www.ozarkshealthcare.com/careers/.

Ozarks Healthcare is a system of care encompassing primary care and specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral healthcare, and home health services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire health system has more than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern Arkansas. For more information about Ozarks Healthcare, visit www.OzarksHealthcare.com.

Ozarks Healthcare celebrated the beginning of National Hospital Week and its employees with a surprise announcement and ribbon cutting regarding a new benefit available to coworkers focused on their health and wellness. The Ozarks Healthcare Employee Wellness Center includes a cardio theater, strength training equipment including machines and free weights, spin bikes, water rowers, yoga equipment, and more. The Employee Wellness Center is open to coworkers on a 24/7 basis. 

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Media Contact

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ozarks Healthcare Media Team
Phone: 417-257-6735
Email: B.Simers@OZHCare.com