As a global healthcare company, Merck is committed to helping employees manage and improve their health and well-being.
Merck’s Global Employee Health department works closely with the Global Benefits department to provide a wide range of health and wellness services and programs.
These offerings cover the continuum of care, for those who are well, those at risk, those with acute or chronic illness, and those requiring complex or catastrophic care. Many of these services and programs are provided at on-site employee health clinics or through programs offered by vendors in conjunction with our benefits coverage. Health services and programs available to Merck employees include:
In 2011, Merck launched LIVE IT, an initiative that brings together all of Merck’s U.S. health and wellness offerings under one integrated program and provides most U.S.-based employees and eligible family members with access to a broad suite of helpful health and wellness tools, programs and information.
In June 2012, the company introduced a new healthcare resource through LIVE IT called Health Advocate. Health Advocate is a program designed to help U.S.-based employees and their families navigate the complicated healthcare and health insurance system. Health Advocate is designed to make employees’ lives easier by saving hours of effort, with activities such as:
- Helping resolve complicated medical and dental insurance claims
- Finding doctors, providers or facilities
- Scheduling appointments for physicians, treatments and tests
- Securing second opinions
- Assisting with eldercare and Medicare issues
- Getting cost estimates for medical procedures
- Assisting in the transfer of medical records
- Researching and locating the latest treatments
- Locating work-life resources
The program is available to most U.S.-based employees at no cost, and is also available to employees’ parents and parents-in-law for any healthcare or eldercare issues they may be facing.
Merck offers a health and wellness website to U.S.-based employees and their dependents, which features a health assessment, online interactive health tools and information, health coaching programs, and more. The website is designed to raise awareness about health issues and to motivate employees to manage and improve their health and well-being. It includes topical health summaries based on scientific evidence and links to reliable healthcare information.
Immediately after completing the online health assessment, an employee receives a customized report that summarizes his or her health status and offers suggestions for personal goal-setting. Anyone who takes the assessment and wants to work on an identified health risk has access to a lifestyle coach, who provides advice and encouragement and regularly monitors progress. Participation in the health assessment and other programs is voluntary and confidential.
In the fall of 2012, employees were encouraged to take the Personal Health Assessment (PHA) through LIVE IT. The PHA revealed that over 61 percent of employees would benefit from eating a healthier diet and better managing their weight. As a result, we looked for additional programs and resources that would offer employees a flexible, valuable and proven weight management program. As of May 2012, eligible U.S. employees can benefit from special savings through Merck’s Weight Watchers Reimbursement Program.
Many Merck clinics offer employees the opportunity for lipid, blood glucose and other laboratory services, including blood collection ordered by a personal physician. To support new mothers returning to work, clinics offer worksite lactation programs. “Lunch and learn” programs and site-based wellness activities, including walking and weight-reduction programs, are also available.
What we eat and drink affects our daily physical and mental well-being and our longer term health and resilience. To contribute to a healthy work culture, we work with our on-site food vendor at most of our U.S. facilities to increase the availability and visibility of healthy food choices and to raise awareness about proper nutrition. Employees also receive discounts for healthy food purchases. In addition, many Merck sites globally have cafeterias that offer healthy food options and nutrition education.
Merck offers access to on-site fitness centers at several large U.S. facilities, as well as at other Merck/MSD facilities around the world. In the U.S., professional fitness managers organize programs and events to encourage employees to eat well, manage their weight, exercise, and participate in various fitness challenges and other special events.
As a global organization, Merck has numerous operating divisions and work assignments—each with its own range of requirements. Particular work assignments may involve potential exposure to one or more occupational hazards, such as noise, mixtures of chemicals or hazardous biological compounds. The company maintains a continuing and concerted effort to assess and control workplace hazards (chemical, biological and physical) and to make sure that each employee’s work assignment is safe and consistent with his or her evaluated capabilities. In 2012, major progress was made in standardizing Merck occupational health procedures globally, including in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Mexico and China.
Occupational health programs are developed and implemented in accordance with identified health risks and applicable regulatory requirements. In the event that an employee becomes injured or ill while performing his or her job, we have programs in place for treatment and rehabilitation.
Work-Related Injury and Illness Management
Merck’s Global Employee Health professionals are clinically trained, and dedicated to supporting efficient and effective quality healthcare for employees who become injured or ill as a result of their work. They advise on and coordinate health care with providers or agencies to ensure a smooth treatment-and-recovery process, while complying with both company and applicable regulatory record-keeping requirements.
Acute Episodic Healthcare
Most Global Employee Health clinics provide non-work-related, acute, episodic healthcare, including the diagnosis and treatment of minor non-occupational illnesses or injuries, health maintenance counseling and appropriate referral to specialty services.
Through its benefit offerings to U.S.-based employees, Merck offers a voluntary disease management program that offers confidential professional support for ongoing treatment and care for U.S. employees and their dependents with specific medical conditions. The goal is to help individuals achieve optimal health by providing evidence-based medical information and self-care guidance.
Treatment Decision Support
Through Health Advocate, Merck also offers a resource for newly diagnosed U.S.-based employees to obtain information specific to their diagnosis. Health Advocate can also help U.S.-based employees and their dependents access expert second opinions for complex or critical illnesses, or explore options regarding the need for surgical or nonsurgical treatments and procedures. A personal Health Advocate will help set up the appointment and transfer any required medical records. The goal is to provide a full range of options so employees can make the most informed decisions about their course of therapy.
Disability Management/Disability Accommodations
The Disability Leave team and our Global Employee Health Group work with external vendors in the U.S. to develop and implement short- and long-term disability management and return-to-work policies and programs. Optimizing the health and productivity of our employees is a key goal of these efforts. In 2012, Merck introduced its Workplace EnABLEment program to ensure that employees with apparent and non-apparent disabilities are able to be accommodated, where feasible, to enable them to work to their full potential.
Business Travel Program
Merck is concerned about the health and safety of our employees who travel on business, especially to international locations. Our Global Employee Health Group maintains up-to-date information about infectious diseases that are prevalent in all countries and their required immunizations. Business travelers are given information on health conditions in the country of their destination, along with a traveler’s guide, a travel kit containing over-the-counter medications they may need, any required immunizations, and an international emergency travel-assistance card. Employees may also consult with a Global Employee Health-licensed healthcare provider for specific travel-related prescription medications that may be needed during travel, possible preventive medical care prior to departure, the availability of medical care in the country of destination, and the possibility of medical care after return, as needed.
Annual Flu Shots and Pandemic Flu Planning
Most Merck sites around the world offer employees annual flu shots. In the United States, our Global Employee Health Group provides annual flu shots at no cost to employees at site-based employee health clinics. With guidance from Global Employee Health, most Merck sites have also developed site-specific pandemic flu preparedness plans, employing a variety of countermeasures that focus on heightened awareness and tactical procedures.
HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Workplace Policy
Merck recognizes that infectious diseases present major healthcare burdens worldwide and pose an unprecedented challenge to people around the globe, including Merck employees, their families and the communities in which we operate. Three diseases alone—HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria—are pandemics that are responsible for approximately half of today’s infectious disease mortality.
These diseases impose a significant and destabilizing social, economic and health burden on nations, communities and families, especially where there is inadequate access to treatment. The company believes that all of our employees should have access to prevention, care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. Since 2005, we have had in place a corporate policy provides benefits to our employees where local access to HIV TB and malaria prevention, care and treatment is inadequate.
The majority of Merck sites around the world have either a no-smoking policy or a smoke-/tobacco-free policy in place. These policies send a strong message that the company is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and to protecting its employees and visitors from the harmful effects of tobacco. In addition, the majority of U.S.-based employees have access to “LIVE IT: Tobacco-Free,” a telephonic personal health coaching program to help participants quit the tobacco habit.
Automatic External Defibrillator Program and Emergency Response
At many Merck sites, on-site clinic staff respond to medical emergencies while also working with volunteers who help as responders. Our Global Employee Health group provides direct oversight for automatic external defibrillators and associated training, provided at many of our sites in the U.S.
Merck’s on-site clinics in the United States, as well as many around the world, offer employees both occupational vaccinations (including travel-related vaccinations) and non-occupational vaccinations for such diseases as pneumonia, shingles, and cervical cancer. Through the Express Scripts Retail Vaccination Program available through the Merck Medical Plan, applicable to most U.S.-based employees, participants may also receive their vaccinations at participating retail pharmacies without a copay.
Last Updated July 16, 2013