I am writing in response to the letter from Mark Powell printed in your July 20 issue. He was writing concerning the menopause seminar held at Utah Transit Authority for its employees. What the article did not mention and Mr. Powell did not know was the seminar was held during the lunch hour. Employees, employees' spouses and employees from other companies brought their lunches into the room and participated on their own time. Also, the article did not mention that the program was presented by the Wellness Councils of America, and Dr. Montgomery Rice was a guest speaker that they brought to our building for this event. The Wellness Councils of America also invited many other companies to participate in this informative seminar.
Utah Transit Authority is a leader in the state of Utah in providing preventive health information and programs to their employees. The UTA discovered more than 15 years ago that it costs less to provide programs to help their employees make better health choices and to keep them well than it does to pay for their illness.
Offering onsite health programs and screenings allows the employee to stay at the worksite rather than travel to a doctor's office for a couple of hours or longer. Early detection is proven to save lives and money. By targeting lifestyle choices employers can reduce their costs in many ways — reduce absenteeism, improve productivity, reduce medical costs related to long-term care because of disease, and the list goes on. Because UTA is working smart, it is saving those "public" dollars.
Mr. Powell said, and I quote, "Pardon me for thinking transit workers should work on transit and tend to their own lives, health, etc. on their own time, effort and funds like the rest of us." My questions are, Mr. Powell, who do you think pays the largest portion of a UTA employee's medical insurance? UTA. Who benefits because a UTA employee is healthy? The employee, the employee's family, UTA, the public. There was no interruption in the excellent transportation services offered by UTA employees, and we now have about 50 UTA female employees who are better prepared for their inevitable life changes. In the future, Mr. Powell, try not to make menopausal women angry — that was not smart.
Raylene S. Thueson
RST and Associates
Wellness Consultants for UTA