Biometric screenings for wellness return to campus

Be in the Know, Penn’s faculty and staff wellness campaign, begins a new year and is bringing back on-campus biometric screenings.

Person getting their blood pressure checked.

As part of Penn’s Be in the Know wellness campaign for faculty and staff, on-campus biometric screenings are scheduled for Oct. 4 to Nov. 22 at locations throughout the University, including the New Bolton Center and the Morris Arboretum.

For the first time since the pandemic, on-campus screenings will return to Penn. These screenings, provided by Health Advocate, will be available at multiple campus locations. Eligible staff and faculty can sign up for their appointment online at the Health Advocate website to schedule an appointment time.

Be in the Know, Penn’s annual wellness campaign that runs through June 2023, is an opportunity for benefits-eligible faculty and staff to focus on health, connect with the University community, and earn rewards of up to $300. As part of its overall offerings, Be in the Know renews its commitment to biometric screening and will provide more ways to complete a screening. 

“It’s great to bring biometric screenings back on campus, not only because they’re such a convenient way for faculty and staff to get a confidential health check, but also because screenings can be a life-changing opportunity,” says Jack Heuer, senior vice president of the Division of Human Resources (HR). “Over the years, we’ve had instances where the screening was a true turning point in people’s health and well-being.”

This year, a biometric screening is the only activity required to receive earned rewards. Once participants complete their screening, they will earn their first $50 in Pulse Cash rewards and they can earn up to $250 more in rewards. 

“This year, we’re re-emphasizing the importance of biometric screenings by encouraging all Be in the Know participants to complete a screening,” says Chris Hyson, manager, HR Wellness Programs.

“The numbers you learn at the biometric screening are proven measures of your level of physical well-being,” Sue Sproat, HR’s executive director for benefits. “Knowing these vitals is truly empowering. It motivates you to take action, whether it’s making a lifestyle change or scheduling a wellness visit with your health care provider.”

All biometric screening options are offered at no cost to eligible University faculty and staff, which gives them the opportunity to learn four key indicators about their health: blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and blood sugar/glucose levels.

“We’ve enlisted our partners at Health Advocate to perform the on-campus screenings and review the results with each participant, which further supports health awareness,” says Hyson.

As the first step in Be in the Know’s “Steps for Success” design, the biometric screening opens the door to rewards for other wellness activities.

“With ‘Steps for Success,’ we want to make it easy for staff and faculty to join while giving you flexibility to support your personal goals,” Hyson says. “So, as you complete the three steps—the screening, ‘ways to earn’ activities, and even going on to become a Be in the Know VIP—you’ll find a range of options for earing points toward rewards through Penn’s Virgin Pulse platform.”

Be in the Know continues to partner with Virgin Pulse, Penn’s wellness platform provider for 2022-23. Eligible faculty and staff can log in or create a new account at the to access a robust array of programs, resources, and rewards. Be in the Know participants can also download the Virgin Plus mobile app and opt in to connect a fitness tracker to get credit for steps, active minutes, and sleep.

The Be in the Know VIP Program offers participants the opportunity to push beyond the basic steps. VIP stands for “Very Impressive Participant.” By earning 50,000 campaign points and completing a biometric screening, eligible faculty and staff will be named a Be in the Know VIP for the 2022–23 campaign year. This year’s VIPs will earn special recognition for reaching this achievement.

For complete details on the Be in the Know campaign, visit