Blanchard Valley Health System ‘Associate Wellness Room’

Blanchard Valley Health System has developed an “Associate Wellness Room” which is a stress-free environment that helps associates manage their busy work days. BVHS says it is part of an organization-wide initiative to invest in the mental health and well-being of team members.

The idea originated during the COVID-19 pandemic when associates were working long hours and dealing with a pandemic that the world had never seen.

The “Associate Wellness Room” is located on the fifth floor of the main campus and is available to any BVHS associate, 24 hours a day.

“The room is the perfect location for associates to unwind and take a moment for themselves,” said Nikki Ballinger, chair of the BVHS Nursing Congress, which created the room. “It has been a very welcome addition.”

Associates visiting the room can enjoy refreshments, including coffee, tea or water. A massage chair, which was purchased through a community grant, helps ease away the stress of the day. Another feature of the room is a coloring wall where associates can “discover their inner child.”

The challenges of the pandemic took a toll on healthcare workers nationwide, and both front-line associates and leadership recognized the need to prevent burnout.

“Healthcare providers are resilient, and committed to our work, but we are also human,” shared Ballinger. “By creating a room dedicated to associate wellness, we are strengthening our entire team.”

The Staffing Recognition and Retention Council of the BVHS Nursing Congress worked in earnest to plan the room. Nursing Congress developed a room aligned with the values and culture of the organization.

While rooms like these exist in other hospitals, most are solely open to nurses. It was important at BVHS to make it available to all associates, in recognition that the entire workforce had been affected by the pandemic, and associates had faced it united, as a team.

Ballinger said that, throughout the pandemic, that sense of working as a team grew stronger than before, and associates leaned upon one another to get through emotionally difficult days.

Chaplain Eric Rummel visits the room once a month. Associates may speak with him at that time or arrange a time to meet with him privately.

The “Associate Wellness Room” is also stocked with written information about wellness topics. Speaking presentations are also being planned for the near future.

Ballinger said the purpose is to let associates know their colleagues and managers care about them. She said they want people to feel good about being at work.

“We plan to continue growing this idea and providing even more offerings to our dedicated workforce,” Ballinger added. “We’re just getting started.”

(story and picture courtesy of BVHS)