VEBA Unveils Innovative Mission Valley Resource Center to Improve Physical and Mental Health for Nearly 150,000 Members
New VEBA Resource Center empowers members with a personalized approach to well-being, including individual and group counseling, healthy cooking classes, yoga and resources to improve access to care.
The VRC is the latest innovation from California Schools Voluntary Employees Benefits Association (VEBA), a nonprofit healthcare trust serving nearly 150,000 members from 65 participating public sector employers, including the San Diego Unified School District and the County of San Diego.
“This center will be a caring and safe environment for our public employees as they embark on their own journeys to well-being,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria at the opening reception. “It’s a revolutionary concept that provides
customized care, looking beyond the symptoms to find out what’s really going on with people.”
Most health care systems are designed for efficiencies, which does not give people the space they need to explore their most pressing issues. At the VEBA Resource Center, members – who are teachers, sheriff deputies and other public-sector employees – receive personal guidance from a trained nurse Care Navigator who helps to identify goals and address and overcome challenges to healthy well-being. Navigators lead members in designing customized plans for fitness, nutrition, stress reduction and mental health support.
"Mental health in particular is an area that affects us in so many ways, so it’s very encouraging to see the VEBA Resource Center’s innovative and holistic approach,” said Councilman Chris Ward. “When we better understand what’s driving our symptoms we can take better care of ourselves. It’s not an easy journey, but fortunately there are people available to help, and one of the things the VRC does so well is connect its members to the resources that are the best fit for them."
VEBA members accessing the VRC can receive additional support such as no-cost childcare services, transportation support and tele-medicine, depending on their specific health plan details. These tools are available to make achieving individual plan goals easy to manage for busy sheriffs, teachers, nurses and other professionals.
“Re-thinking our approach to mental and physical well-being is key to improving quality of life in San Diego County, and the VEBA Resource Center is setting a great model to follow,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher during the opening celebration. “The diversity of programs and the customized care the VRC offers to reduce stress, overcome barriers and promote self-care is very impressive.”
Depression, anxiety and other conditions impact individuals from all backgrounds and can have wide-reaching effects on their families, colleagues, and more. The VRC looks at each member as an individual with a unique past and set of experiences that could be contributing to present health issues. It then works with those members to customize a plan that improves their habits and lifestyle.
“We look beyond symptoms to understand what’s really occurring with our members and why,” said George McGregor, VEBA’s General Manager. “This innovative approach reduces premiums for employers and leads to better care for our dedicated public servants.”
Attendees at the Grand Opening Celebration toured the VRC’s facilities, which include a cooking demonstration studio, and learned about state-of-the-art health technology including biometric scanners and MyoMetrix exercise equipment. Movement is a key component of each tailored fitness program. Members are connected with personal health coaches and provided opportunities to learn deep stretching, strength training and yoga.
“As a VEBA member, I am inspired by the great classes and resources offered at the VRC,” said San Diego Unified Schools Superintendent Cindy Marten, co-chair of the VEBA Board. “VEBA has created a place where some of our region’s most selfless professionals can take a moment to focus on their goals and needs while recharging their ability to teach, give and serve.”
Along with launching the VRC, VEBA has developed a mobile app for members to easily access personal health and benefit information and engage with tools like video guides and nutrition information to meet their personal plan objectives.
“The VRC is unique in terms of services and programs for bettering the whole person with custom plans, guidance and accountability,” said Robin Watkins, co-chair of the VEBA Board and member of the American Federation of Teachers Local 1931. “Our members benefit from expert assistance in setting and achieving their personal goals with the help of highly-trained staff.”
The VRC facility spans 30,000 square feet and is the first such campus developed by VEBA. It is open to all VEBA members. VEBA members also benefit from traveling VRC resources that visit members off-site in participation with their employers. The VEBA Resource Center is located in Mission Valley at 1843 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, CA 92108.
For more information about the VEBA Resource Center, please visit www.vebaresourcecenter.com.
For more information about California Schools VEBA, please visit www.vebaonline.com.
Media contact: Tanya Mannes Castaneda
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The California Schools Voluntary Employees Benefits Association (VEBA) was started in 1993 through the combined efforts of school superintendents and representatives of both the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the California School Employees Association (CSEA). VEBA provides health care benefits for education, municipal and public agency employees. With more than 65 participating employers and 150,000 members, our large group of participants allows us to keep health care premiums low. Learn more at www.VEBAOnline.com.