‘Whole person, whole company’
Cultivate seeks to make employees, employers healthier and happier

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Oct. 6, 2015


Dr. Bryan Muth talks with workers in the shipping department of Standard Process in Palmyra about ergonomic issues involved in packing and loading boxes.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

PALMYRA - Implementing a workplace wellness program comes with a price tag, but Cultivate's Jerry Curtin can cite numerous ways it will improve a company’s bottom line - he has had a lot of firsthand experience with the positive effects Standard Process’s program had on its employees.

Standard Process is a third-generation family-owned business that makes whole food dietary supplements and only sells to doctors and chiropractors. The company focuses on its employees’ wellness and happiness by offering an organic café that it subsidizes, a day care center across the street, a fitness center and a wellness walking program. After 12 years of offering wellness programs, Standard Process reports a 97 percent participation rate. Its wellness offerings include an on-site chiropractor, nutritional guidance and educational programming.

Curtin said the company’s wellness program has retained employees and attracted new ones.

“We got our employees healthy and happy,” he said. “We saw the success of that start to bleed into the home.”


Dr. Bryan Muth talks about the types of ergonomic counseling he does to help reduce work-related injuries, especially repetitive stress injuries, as he demonstrates lifting a heavy carton.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

So it was a natural transition, Curtin said, to package what the company learned through its four wellness tiers, chiropractic, fitness, nutrition and education, and help other companies create a workplace program. Cultivate was formed in February 2014.

One employee might only be one-third of the household that is covered by a company-provided insurance plan, Curtin said. By helping the spouse and dependents in a household be healthy, the company is also helping to keep its insurance costs down.

The Cultivate program includes a chiropractor and wellness coach who can work with employees on the ergonomics of doing their tasks properly, how to eat healthfully, chiropractic adjustments and other health issues. For the cost of about $100 to $125 per employee voluntarily enrolled per month, a company has access to the chiropractor and wellness coach’s expertise, as well as access to the Cultivate app and other resources. Companies can either cover the entire costs of having Cultivate work with employees or can offer employees a stipend for the service.

Chiropractic consultations

Bryan Muth, medical services manager for Cultivate and the on-site chiropractor for Standard Process, said he selects the top chiropractors and trains them on how to function well in a corporate setting. While a Cultivate chiropractor can still maintain a personal practice and have access to the company’s employees’ dependents, they are encouraged to take an active role in the company they are serving, from eating lunch with the employees to walking the plant floor and helping to correct bad ergonomics.

Curtin said skepticism remains about chiropractic medicine, but Cultivate works with its chiropractors to provide diagnostics and data so a company can track improvements among its workforce and effects on its bottom line.

By the end of 2015, Curtin estimates Cultivate will be working with 3,000 employees in eight locations across the Midwest.

While there is cost involved in bringing Cultivate into a workplace, Curtin said that should be weighed against the time, energy and money used to compensate for employees’ lost time, whether through health or injury-related incidents.

When Cultivate representatives come into a company their goal is treat the “whole person, whole company,” Curtin said.

Standard Process Safety Manager Ryan Moyse said he can work with the on-site chiropractor to help eliminate risk of injury. Employees are encouraged to do position-specific stretches each morning to eliminate soft-tissue injuries or muscle strains, Moyse said.

Curtin added that workers compensation costs both employers and employees money. For an employee, workers comp generally covers about 70 percent of his weekly salary. The Cultivate on-site chiropractor can also work with the company as well as the employee’s doctor to figure out a way to get the employee back on site sooner, but still in a healthy way.

Moyse also highlighted that in three-and-a-half years, Standard Process has gone 2 million hours without a time-loss injury.

In addition, Curtin promotes a corporate wellness initiative as a way to recruit millennials and help the veteran employees stay healthy and on the job longer.




Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com