Scarlet Pearl Casino
Making the Connection with Blue Primary Care Home and Healthy Workplace
Scarlet Pearl is a casino located on the Gulf Coast and, like many employers, was faced with high rates of hypertension, obesity and other chronic health conditions and low utilization of the Healthy You! annual wellness visit. The gaming industry work environment also presents health challenges with long hours, overnight shifts and exposure to other health hazards like secondhand smoke. Last fall, our Healthy Workplace Team partnered with Scarlet Pearl to assess opportunities for positive change at the worksite and by encouraging a relationship with a Primary Care Network Provider.
One of the more significant health risks was also an employee benefit. Scarlet Pearl employees were provided free meals each day at an employee buffet including high-fat, high-sodium comfort foods and plentiful sweets and pastries like cakes and pies. With very few restrictions on how much they could eat, the company was spending a large amount of money on food for its employees while also contributing to health risks that come along with poor diet. Another contributing factor to the group’s high costs were medications used to manage chronic conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol with little focus on management through lifestyle changes.
Healthy Workplace representatives then hosted onsite health screenings for employees and provided contact information for North Bay Medical Clinic, one of our flagship Blue Primary Care Home clinics, for employees who were looking for a Primary Care Network Provider. Aggregate results of those onsite screenings were shared with the executive team at Scarlet Pearl detailing the improvements that should be made to support employee health and to help manage costs.
One of the more obvious needs to be addressed was the food offered to employees. Through a collaborative effort with the Healthy Workplace Team and Scarlet Pearl’s chef and staff, positive steps toward better nutrition were made available:
- Instead of multiple meals per shift, with many items unlimited, Scarlet Pearl switched to a ticket system for one regular meal per shift with unlimited access to healthier items like a salad bar, yogurt and other healthy snacks.
- The menu was overhauled to move away from higher fat meats to leaner sources of protein, more vegetables and healthy starches.
- The Healthy Workplace Team also worked with the foodservice staff on healthier cooking options and hosted food education sessions in the employee café to teach them about healthier alternatives.
“Because of the partnership between Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi and North Bay, we now have more associates establishing primary care relationships which, in the long run, will benefit everyone,” said Kathy Stover, human resources manager for Scarlet Pearl. “I also believe that, with this partnership, we will continue to see more and more of our associates establish a relationship with Dr. Shelby either by us referring them or through word of mouth from their coworkers.”
Since then, numerous Scarlet Pearl employees have visited the clinic for Healthy You! visits.
“All of these elements that have been put in place are designed to support the member,” said Katie Green, Healthy Workplace team lead. “Employer groups want healthier employees, and we are working to meet them where they are and to support open communications with the employer and the clinic.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Health and Wellness Team to help bring awareness to our associates,” said Kathy Stover. “We look forward to the continued partnership that has been established.”