Interactive Health program manager Tara Miller oversees 80 volunteers and serves as the master integrator of health resources and social events for more than 17,000 retirees. Tara recently helped tripled attendance at her client’s annual wellness event after focusing on her professional growth, listening to feedback and mining health evaluation data for insights into retiree’s most-pressing needs.
The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (“LACERS”) has been my client for more than four years. As a dietitian and experienced program manager, I felt qualified to tackle the job. However, I quickly found out that working with retirees required a whole different set of qualifications.
The goal of the LACERS Well preventive health program is to keep retirees active and engaged in partnership with their physicians. The success of the program depends upon a network of volunteers, the dedication of our healthcare partners, and coordination of community events and resources.
Prior to working with LACERS, although well versed in health engagement, I had limited experience working with seniors, managing volunteers and coordinating community resources. To take this program to the next level, I needed to grow professionally in these areas.
First, I reached out to individuals who excelled in community-based work. That allowed me build relationships and find an abundance of social events and resources to share with our members.
Next, I worked on skills to effectively manage our volunteer retirees who are the face of the wellness program. I proactively joined DOVIA-LA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies-Los Angeles), a professional organization that provides leadership to volunteers. This experience increased my confidence and improved my communication with our volunteers.
Such learning continues. I regularly monitor member feedback and health evaluation data to improve services and health outcomes.
For example, based on new health evaluation data, we focused this year’s LACERS Well Extravaganza, an educational and social event in its 5th year, on diabetes awareness. And based on member feedback, we expanded it from one location to three to make it more convenient to participate. As a result, participation tripled from the prior year, and members benefited from more social interaction and targeted education that addressed their most-pressing concerns.
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