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Cardinal Innovations Encourages Employee Wellness

image of Andrea Johnson

Each day at 3 p.m., Andrea Johnson takes 15 minutes of quiet, peaceful, centered time in the Cardinal Innovations Healthcare revitalization room at the NASCAR Plaza location.

“When I need a moment to collect my thoughts after working on something for a while, I can take a break and go up to the relaxation room and re-group," said Johnson, an Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Project Support Specialist in Care Coordination. “Once leaving the relaxation room my mind is clear and I can go back to my desk feeling re-energized."

Cardinal Innovations values the wellness of its employees. The company's Human Resources and Facilities departments have worked to develop programs and amenities, such as the revitalization room, that support employee wellness.

“Wellness has been a growing focus for employers for several years, beginning with physical wellness to help encourage a healthier workforce and combat rising healthcare costs," said Andrew Pitchford, Cardinal Innovations' Benefits Operations Manager. “In recent years, companies think of wellness more holistically; considering emotional, social, financial and career wellness in addition to physical. Addressing these aspects of employees' overall wellbeing creates more engagement and job satisfaction, with the added benefit of increasing productivity and reducing both the employee and employer's healthcare costs."

Pitchford said that many large companies have implemented relaxation or meditation rooms to help their employees reduce stress, including Apple, Google, Nike and Procter & Gamble.

Cardinal Innovations' revitalization room is located on the 15th floor near the breakroom and contains two chaise lounge chairs facing a window overlooking the city. Employees can reserve the room for 15 minutes and recharge in a relaxing setting.

Johnson said the room “provides a Zen-like feeling that provides calmness and a relaxing environment away from the office. The view also provides beautiful scenery that is breathtaking and can take your mind off of daily stressors and turn your focus toward peaceful serenity."

Pitchford said the intent behind the design was “to provide a quiet and private space to take a mindful break, so that we can have healthier, more productive days."

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, Pitchford said. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others, he said.

“Being mindful helps you become fully engaged in your life and work, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events," he said. “It can also help relieve stress and improve your overall physical and mental health."

Johnson said focusing on her own wellness helps her do her job of helping others. She encourages “everyone to take out time for themselves to de-stress at work, even if it's for five minutes. As you take time for yourself you will see change in your overall mental health."

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