From Wellness to Well-being
Physical, mental and emotional health are vital to employee success
When pharmacies in Abu Dhabi run out of Ritalin®, replenishing it can take time. Because Raytheon employee David Hambleton's daughter depends on this medicine, he sometimes must fly thousands of miles to fill a prescription.
"Local health care can be very unlike the U.S. model we're used to," says Hambleton, a communications engineer. Without a primary care physician, he adds, "We may have to explain our needs to a new doctor at each appointment."
Hearing stories like Hambleton's firsthand was invaluable for Dr. Sandra Stratford, M.D., MSc., our chief medical officer, who toured the United Arab Emirates capital in 2015 as a step toward improving health care access for our employees and their families around the world.
You can't manage global health issues on paper alone.
— Dr. Sandra Stratford, Raytheon chief medical officer
During her visit, Stratford spoke with over 80 employees at a town hall meeting and outlined health and well-being services they could access through our Benefits and Global Health Resources divisions. She toured local facilities, met with providers and learned about the systems and quality controls in the region.
"We see physical, mental and emotional health as tools to help our employees succeed in the workplace," Stratford says. "But we also must support employees' health and well-being needs outside of work."
In that spirit, we are broadening our concept of workplace wellness to promote overall well-being. For example, Raytheon offers backup child care and elder care support as well as employee assistance programs to help our people manage the demands on their time outside of work.
Since returning from Abu Dhabi, Stratford and her team have drafted medical service plans for 12 countries with a growing number of Raytheon employees. We are working with in-country management to establish a new physician "health care navigator" role in the United Arab Emirates to assist employees and provide insights about the region's health care systems.
"My time in Abu Dhabi showed me that you can't manage these global health issues on paper alone," says Stratford. "We need a 'boots on the ground' approach to find resources that help employees feel confident they can stay fit for the mission."
That's welcome news for the Hambletons and other families abroad. "It's good to know Raytheon is paying attention and has someone dealing with medical care at a high level," says David Hambleton.