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.
For the first time since the pandemic, on-campus screenings will return to Penn this fall, starting in October. These screenings, provided by Health Advocate, will be available at multiple campus locations. Penn Healthy You will announce dates and registration details in early September.
“Since Penn started Be in the Know in 2012, biometric screenings have been a keystone for our comprehensive wellness benefits,” says Jack Heuer, senior vice president of the Division of Human Resources. “Over the years, the on-campus biometric screenings became a reliable part of Penn community health awareness, so it’s great to see them return. I look forward to seeing Penn faculty and staff members at the screenings this fall. Events like the biometric screening bring us together to foster a culture of campus wellness.”
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.
“The good news is you have four biometric screening options so you don’t have to wait until the fall for an on-campus screening,” says Sue Sproat, HR’s executive director for benefits. “Penn offers other ways to earn credit for a screening, including submitting results from your doctor, home test kits, and Virgin Pulse’s LabCorp Voucher Program.”
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.
“Penn’s free, fast, and confidential biometric screenings inform faculty and staff of their health status, allowing them to improve or maintain their key indicators,” says Sproat. Taking 15 minutes to check your health status can have a lasting impact. It motivates you to take charge of your well-being. Be in the Know as a whole promotes proven actions like moving more, eating healthier, and seeing your health care provider for regular wellness visits and preventative exams.”
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.
Chris Hyson, senior health and wellness specialist at HR, says, “The ‘Steps for Success’ design gives faculty and staff flexibility to choose those activities that best support their overall well-being. Whether your priority is physical, mental, or financial wellness, Be in the Know offers over 90 different ‘Ways to Earn’ activities to earn points towards rewards. I encourage coworkers to start these activities now so they can maximize points. Plus, it’s a healthy way to connect with your colleagues at wellness events or online.”
Be in the Know continues to partner with Virgin Pulse, Penn’s wellness platform provider for 2022-2023. Eligible faculty and staff can log in or create a new account at the join.virginpulse.com/penn 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 various and varied challenges, the diverse mix of healthy activity trackers, and the informative Daily Cards on the Virgin Pulse platform all combine to create a powerful virtual wellness companion and coach,” says Be in the Know participant Jasmin Shinohara, the Hebraica Cataloging Librarian in Penn Libraries.
“Once faculty and staff have earned “Pulse Cash’ rewards, Virgin Pulse makes it easy to use them, allowing you to select from gift cards, wellness items, and charitable donations. When you’ve completed a biometric screening and reach 30,000 total points, you can earn $300 in rewards,” says Hyson.
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 2022–2023 campaign year. This year’s VIPs will earn special recognition for reaching this achievement.
Shinohara, a five-time VIP, says, “Participating in Be in the Know and its VIP Program is both motivational and inspirational for me. Be in the Know offers live coaching and healthy living classes, too. There really is something for everyone. I’m so grateful to Penn for offering this program to its employees.”
For complete details on the Be in the Know campaign, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/beintheknow.