Well-Being Spotlight with Ardyth Cutler, CEBS

January 17, 2023

Ardyth A. Cutler, CEBS, is the Director of Employee Benefits at Community Health System. Here she discusses how she empowers people, teams, and the organization itself to achieve well-being.  

Q: What does well-being look like for your employees, teams, and the organization as a whole?  

The well-being of any organization rests upon the health of its staff. This is especially true in a healthcare system where the pandemic placed additional stress on caregivers to deliver support in a prolonged and highly challenging environment. 

Our frontline workers are battling not only the physical demands of their jobs, but the emotional rigors of keeping themselves, their coworkers, and their families safe from exposure while helping those in their care to recover. In the medical field, it is important to treat the whole individual, not just the presenting symptoms.    

At CHS, we recognize the importance of offering a full suite of wellness benefits to address an employee’s mental, physical, and financial health and well-being. Our Employee Assistance Program has been instrumental in the mental health area, especially in delivering relevant communication content, including on-demand training, offering virtual counseling in addressing our employees’ needs, providing focused on-site facility meetings, and creating new ways for employees to connect, such as the monthly Peer Support groups. 

Q: What have you put in place to boost employee wellness and well-being?   

While all the items listed above have a place in maintaining one’s well-being, from an operational standpoint, it is our people who are the most important resource and their mindset must be our priority.  If someone’s head is literally “not in the game,” then others will suffer, including our patients, coworkers, and family members. Therefore, the focus for CHS has been on ensuring those who are caring for others are not themselves neglected and have the necessary tools and support to keep them on an even keel and in a good frame of mind.   

From the outset of the pandemic, it was clear that employees would need additional support to get them over the rough patches. Their Assistance Program has provided multiple streams and guidance and support. In particular, we believe the implementation of the Peer Support group has been a good lifeline in opening up channels where employees can share and benefit from the experiences of others.   

Q: How do you practice self-care?  

I am no different from anyone else. I can’t be the best for others and perform my job to the fullest extent if I do not care for my own mind and body.  We should practice what we preach and I try to adhere to that admonition by eating healthy, being active, scheduling my annual preventive check-ups, getting the proper amount of rest, and finding time to do the things I enjoy, such as needle arts, reading or working jigsaw puzzles.  The art of a happy life is in finding balance.