TULSA WORLD – Local Farm OK Launches Corporate Wellness Program with BOK

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Fresh produce part of BOK wellness program

Early last week, a colorful van pulled up the windy drive to BOK Financial Operations Center. A man got out and began bringing nondescript gray bags onto the facility’s lobby floor.

Some of the technology center’s hundreds of employees began to trickle out into the lobby, grabbing the bags that contained fresh produce from Local Farms OK.

Employees such as Lauren Adams pay a fee per bag of delivered produce, but it could pay dividends for her health insurance costs. The delivery service is part of a pilot program at BOK Financial that’s aimed at increasing access to produce for their busy employees. Expanding that access could improve employees’ overall wellness scores.

If employees and their spouses or domestic partners meet or exceed their biometric screening numbers from the year before, they’re eligible to receive a discount on the portion of the cost they bear for the company’s benefit plan, said Debbie Saunders, senior vice president and director of Total Rewards at BOK.

After just rolling out the program in the company’s HR department and then BOK Tower, the company has expanded it to the operations center and its Copper Oaks offices, 7010 S. Yale Ave.

Saunders said the company is contemplating expanding it to other markets, depending on whether or not it can find the right local cooperatives to partner with.

Adams said she finds the deliveries save her time and give her access to some produce that she might not find at the store. She also enjoys the recipes that come with it, she said, having made coleslaw from cabbage delivered a few weeks before.

The delivery service has all the benefits of a farmer’s market without the time spent going there, Adams said.

BOK Financial’s initiative is among the growing swath of programs companies have implemented to improve the wellness of employees in Tulsa and elsewhere.

Some other Tulsa-based firms that have wellness programs include Bama Pie, Williams Cos., ONEOK and NORDAM.

A 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that the majority of firms had a wellness program. And large firms like BOK Financial are more likely to have one with 98 percent of large firms having one.

It’s not uncommon for companies to offer a financial incentive to participate, the survey said. About 36 percent of large firms did in 2014.

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