HealthPoint uses innovation and teamwork to participate in the Health and Lifestyle Expo

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to limit in-person events on campus, HealthPoint faced multiple challenges to participating in the annual Health and Lifestyle Expo sponsored by UT Recreational Sports (RecSports). The expo typically occurs every July during Annual Enrollment and features Human Resources Benefits representatives as well as health and wellness vendors.  `         

According to Work Life Balance and Wellness Manager Nosse Ovienmhada, despite the pandemic, HealthPoint wanted to provide engagement for employees to the extent possible.

“We wanted to ease some people’s stressors around Annual Enrollment because the information can seem overwhelming,” Ovienmhada said. “We also wanted to teach them to use different platforms to meet their needs.”

Since an in-person expo was not an option this year, HealthPoint worked with RecSports and various other UT Austin units and groups such as Human Resource’s Learning and Development and Fit Texas. Together they created a virtual expo that took place July 20-24.

Branded as HealthTopia, the HealthPoint offerings during the Expo were a series of 22 online events and webinars for employees. Activities included:

  • Living Well demos: MDLIVE, OMADA, Hinge and Livongo
  • Farmhouse Delivery demos
  • Meet and greet with therapy dogs and alpacas
  • Session from Fit Texas
  • FAQ session with Human Resources representatives
  • UT Select vendors

Ovienmhada said that the biggest challenge in hosting this virtual event was accessibility. HeathPoint wanted to ensure retirees, graduate students, and employees who speak a language other than English could access the offerings. HealthPoint quickly realized they could not just load content into Box as not everyone would have access to it. They had to find a way to make it more interactive and used Zoom as a tool to do so.

“We were trying not just to have presenters sitting at a computer talking at someone for an hour,” Ovienmhada said. “We had to find a way to be conversational.”

Hosting Zoom sessions not only provided interactivity but also allowed HealthPoint to track attendance automatically to see how many people participated and for how long. Ovienmhada noted that the most attended sessions were the Benefits Enrollment and alpaca sessions, a virtual alpaca petting zoo. This data will help with planning future events. Zoom analytics even made it possible to award prizes for attending webinars—a fun variation on past in-person expo events.

Importantly, HealthPoint met the goal of raising employee comfort level with finding health information on their own.

“People had the feeling that it was easy to access sessions on their own time, because we were able to upload content pretty quickly into the HealthPoint website once sessions and events were over,” Ovienmhada said. “This built a level of understanding to always check out the HealthPoint website to find health and wellness resources.”

Overall, the virtual expo was a success. It offered attendees relaxation, prizes, and a way to get important information about their benefits, health and wellness opportunities.

A screenshot of alpacas grazing during the Healthtopia Alpaca Meet and Greet online session
A screenshot of alpacas grazing during the Healthtopia Alpaca Meet and Greet online session
Aug. 7, 2020