The Compass Health Assessment - It's Worth It!

Lisa Connor, MS, RN, Assistant Manager of Health Plus, shares the advantages of completing the yearly Compass Health Assessment, which is Step 1 of Go for the Gold. She explains the benefits of the personalized health information you will learn and the financial reward you can earn.

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Bridgette Butler:  Welcome to this edition of the Vanderbilt Health and Wellness Wellcast.  I am Bridgette Butler with Health Plus.  Today, we are talking about the Compass Health Assessment, step one of Vanderbilt's Go for the Gold Wellness Incentive Program.  I am here with Lisa Connor, Assistant Manager of Health Plus and Registered Nurse.  Welcome, Lisa.

Lisa Connor:  Thank you.

Bridgette Butler:  Lisa, what is the Compass Health Assessment?

Lisa Connor:  The Compass Health Assessment is a health questionnaire.  It is a screening tool to help you evaluate your health.  It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete it, and if you have results of any medical tests like cholesterol, glucose or blood pressure, you can enter those, but they are not required.

Bridgette Butler:  Why should I complete the Compass Health Assessment?

Lisa Connor:  The most valuable part of the Compass Health Assessment, I believe, is the personal report you get after you've completed it.  It shows areas you are doing well in and areas you can improve in if you need it.  The recommendations are based on guidelines from the latest medical and health research and also from leading health organizations.  You receive a health score that ranges from 0 to 100 points.  It shows how your health compares with other people who have completed the assessment, and it is based on your health practices, like nutrition, physical activity, your sleep or stress, preventive exams you've had, and more.  They are all things you have some control over.

Bridgette Butler:  That is a great overview of your personalized health status.  Are there any other benefits that I can receive by completing the Compass Health Assessment?

Lisa Connor:  In addition to what you learn about your health, you also earn a reward of $120 if you pay for the Vanderbilt Health Plan.

Bridgette Butler:  Wow, that is a lot of money for 15 minutes.

Lisa Connor:  It sure is.

Bridgette Butler:  Why is it step one of Go for the Gold?

Lisa Connor:  Completing the health assessment is the first, and most valuable, step of Go for the Gold.  It gives you a chance every year to step back, to take a look at where you are with your health practices, and to focus on continuing or making improvements where it is most important for you.

Bridgette Butler:  Where do I go to complete it?

Lisa Connor:  On the Health Plus webpage, you will see a link to the Health Plus Health Guide.  So, you click "I am an employee" to log in using your Vanderbilt ID and password.  Once you get logged in, you will select "Compass Health Assessment," and then, if you did it last year, you might need to click "Retake," and if not, it will say "Let's begin," but it is something we do every year.

Bridgette Butler:  And what are the other steps of Go for the Gold, and when can I do those?

Lisa Connor:  There are two other steps of Go for the Gold.  The Wellness Actions Log is the second step.  You log specific actions you are taking toward maintaining or improving your wellness, and this step is available in the spring.  Then, the third step, the Game Plan for your Health video, features Vanderbilt faculty and staff with practical ways to take charge of your health.  And completing all three steps of Go for the Gold earns you rewards of $240 if you pay for the Vanderbilt Health Plan, and you want to complete it every year by October 31st, but the sooner the better!  You can even learn more about it on the Health Plus website.

Bridgette Butler:  We will include a link to that with the Wellcast.

Lisa Connor:  One more thing I wanted to really say is to encourage everyone to take advantage of the great programs that Health and Wellness offers.  They really support you in living a healthy life.  Health Plus offers wellness coaching, the Diabetes Prevention Program, the Start Physical Activity program.  There are online workouts and great nutrition programs.  We encourage everyone to have a primary care provider and get preventive exams that are appropriate for you.  Our sister department, Occupational Health Clinic, provides flu shots, immunizations, the Express Care Clinic, and other services to help keep you safe at work.  And then, Work/Life Connections, the Employee Assistance Program, offers free and confidential services that can help when life is challenging, and you can learn about all of our services from our Health and Wellness website, or just give us a call at Health Plus.

Bridgette Butler:  These are great benefits for faculty and staff.  Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this important information today about the Compass Health Assessment, and in addition, some of the other benefits for faculty and staff here at Vanderbilt.  We appreciate it.

Lisa Connor:   Thank you.

Bridgette Butler:  Thanks for listening.  Please feel free to leave us any comments on this wellcast on the form at the bottom of this page.  If you have a story suggestion, please email it to us at, or you can use the "Contact Us" page on our website at

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