Team Wellness Shines at Patient Access Services


At Patient Access Services (PAS) in Emeryville, worksite wellness is a team effort. In addition to nine active Wellness Champions within this department, Michelle Gray became a Wellness Champion and was recently awarded with a Champion Leadership Award.  Michelle is the Manager of Patient Access Services and has 12 direct reports.

Rigel Nemis, Michelle’s team member shared, “Michelle encourages us to eat healthy foods and do simple exercises during our breaks. She also leads us in taking the stairs each day.” Michelle  is a wellness advocate for her staff and influences a positive work environment for her team.

Managers, directors, and executive leaders are considered gatekeepers to wellbeing or multipliers of wellbeing. In an article published by Society of Human Resource Management, leading workplace wellness author Laura Putnam highlights how managers can influence the success of their team’s wellness. According to Putnam, “The things managers do and say, and the opportunities they create, play an important role in how employees engage in well-being” (Putnam, 2018).

When Michelle was asked about the benefits of engaging in wellness activities with her employees she responded, “Practicing wellness at work helps me bond with my staff.” Michelle stated that practicing wellness with her team makes them feel better about themselves and valued as an employee. She added, “ I feel like I show them we can accomplish anything.”

The Wellness Champions at Patient Access Services take turns leading various wellness activities. Natacha Telusca MD led a weight loss challenge and encouraged other team members. Ricardo Semedo took the lead in organizing  robust participation in the annual HealthySteps to Wellness Walk in August. Nydia Gutierrez helped organize resistance band training and shares evidence-based health information she learns from quarterly Champion training webinars with her team. Further team bonding occurred when they participated in a charity race together with team t-shirts!

Thank you, Michelle and the entire team of Patient Access Services, for practicing and spreading a culture of wellness at your Emeryville site!


By Terry Palmer, MS
September 2019


Putnam, L. (2018, May 1). From Gatekeeper to Multiplier: Give Managers a Role in Wellness Plans. Retrieved from