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Employee makes the most of comprehensive, flexible benefits

Oct. 21, 2014, 2:23 PM

Vanderbilt offers comprehensive, flexible benefits that its employees can fine tune to meet their unique needs. Patience Blackmon, an administrative assistant in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s sleep clinic, is one employee who has done just this to improve her health.

“My health has been a concern since I was a child,” she said. “I would get winded quickly and didn’t feel comfortable being active outside. Then, I started having other problems. I suffered from angina and did poorly on a stress test. I knew I needed to make some changes.”

Blackmon worked with her doctor to come up with a plan to start exercising and eating healthier.

“Vanderbilt has a lot of benefits to help employees be healthy,” she pointed out. “The Farmers’ Market in the summer makes it easy to get fresh fruits and vegetables, and Health Plus has mapped out a number of walking paths around campus.”

Blackmon joined the YMCA, which waives its registration fee for Vanderbilt employees. “I love Aqua Zumba. It’s like a party in the pool!” she said.

Blackmon and her doctor also identified a medical procedure they both felt would help improve her health. “I was so excited that Vanderbilt’s health plan covered what I needed,” she said.

Blackmon has made great progress towards better health since her procedure. “I’ve been able to stop taking some medications and do more outside,” she said.

“I really appreciate how Vanderbilt’s benefits have supported me in improving my health and will continue to support me as I start a new chapter as a wife and mother.”

Open Enrollment is open now and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31. Selections are effective Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2015, unless you have a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. Visit for additional information.