A New Associate-Focused Wellness Initiative
The program aims to enhance workplace culture by creating a bridge between BluePearl hospitals and its regional social work and leadership teams.
BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, a leading provider of advanced care for pets with over 100 hospitals across the U.S., today announced the launch of its Wellness Ambassador Program, a first-of-its-kind program aimed to promote health and well-being among its 7,000+ Associates through Mental Health First Aid trained Wellness Ambassadors. Wellness Ambassadors will serve as liaisons between BluePearl hospitals and the organization’s veterinary social work and leadership teams as well as champion Associate participation in wellness programs, training, and events.
BluePearl’s Health + Well-being Team created the Wellness Ambassador Program based on feedback from Associates who sought help with integrating BluePearl’s social work program within their hospitals. Ambassadors of the program will be trained in Mental Health First Aid, a public education program that teaches individuals how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training offers skills on providing timely intervention and appropriately supporting someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use problem or crisis.
There is a long-standing cultural issue within veterinary practices that this program specifically aims to address. Different from most health and wellness initiatives that work from the top down, this program works from the ground up, utilizing hospital-based Wellness Ambassadors to fill the gap between the resource or support and the Associate in need,” explained Lori C. Harbert, MSW, LCSW, Director of Health + Well-being at BluePearl. “Through this program, we hope to reach more Associates, increase awareness of and engagement in our well-being programs, and build a sustainable culture of acceptance, support, and unity.”
The overall goals of the Wellness Ambassador Program are:
- To normalize discussion around mental health and substance abuse challenges in BluePearl workplace environments.
- Reduce stigma related to lack of understanding of those who may be experiencing mental health or substance abuse challenges.
- Enhance a person’s ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance abuse issue.
- Teach Associates and leadership how to address and engage an individual who may be experiencing mental health or substance abuse challenges.
The Wellness Ambassador program was specifically designed to create trained wellness champions across the organization. These are Associates who wanted to be involved in promoting a culture of health and well-being and in turn, support their fellow Associates in getting the access to care and support they need to ensure self-care,” said Angela Calderone, Vice President of People and Organization at BluePearl. “With broader knowledge and training in mental health first aid, Ambassadors of the program will be able to identify an event before it becomes a crisis, which in turn saves lives. I look forward to seeing the programs’ impact on our Associates as well as the broader profession in the months and years to come.”
BluePearl hopes to have 200 Mental Health First Aid trained Wellness Ambassadors in its practices by the end of 2022. Learn more about the Wellness Ambassador Program and Mental Health First Aid training at BluePearl here. Learn more about veterinary social work at BluePearl here.
About BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital
Founded in 1996, BluePearl is one of the largest specialty and emergency veterinary practices in the U.S. today. BluePearl has more than 100 hospitals in 29 states that together employ 7,000+ Associates, including 1,330+ veterinarians, 1,600+ veterinary technicians, and 4,100+ other professionals. Each year, our compassionate teams provide high-quality care for more than 1.1 million pets and their families. BluePearl clinicians also participate in clinical studies to discover new treatments and procedures that improve pet health. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, BluePearl is committed to its purpose — A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS® — because pets make a better world for us. Learn more at BluePearlVet.com.