Meet Dr. Donna Milavetz, Utah’s advocate for employee health and well-being

By Regence
April 25, 2022
Donna Milavetz

A “go-getter” visionary who is passionate about making health care more accessible, personalized and effective for employees and their families. These words describe Dr. Donna Milavetz, who recently joined Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah as its executive medical director. Within that role, she will work closely with local employers and health insurance brokers to help employees improve their health and overall well-being.

Milavetz brings a unique perspective to her work with Regence, given her experience as a physician and an entrepreneur. She combines clinical knowledge with an understanding of owning a business. She has experienced how difficult it can be to balance achieving company goals with ensuring a healthy, productive workforce.

After 20 years of practicing internal medicine, Milavetz founded Onsite Care and served as its CEO for about 13 years. The company helps employers establish full-service primary care clinics onsite at workplaces or at nearby locations.

Throughout her career, Milavetz has practiced dual-advocacy – for employees and their employers. Her long-held goals are to improve health outcomes in the workforce specifically while helping employers to lower health care costs as well as recruit and retain skilled employees.

Milavetz recognizes that, for many companies, employee health care benefits are the second largest line item on their operating budgets. She realizes the importance of helping employers to better manage medical costs by improving the health and well-being of employees and their families.  

“There is no doubt that productivity is impacted when an employee is suffering and distracted workers often lead to injuries on the job,” Dr. Milavetz says. “The good news is we can do more to improve physical and mental health, reduce absenteeism, and help employees to be more present as they work.”

When employers proactively engage with their workforces to promote good health, culture, productivity and retention all improve – these factors tied together can make a big impact.

Milavetz often discusses these three things with employers:

  1. The importance of educating employees about preventive and primary health care.
    • It is a highly effective way for people to improve health outcomes, which in turn provides value to employers.
    • Engage employees with their health plan benefits and align them with preventive health services instead of waiting until they or someone in their family is sick.
  2. Aggressive early chronic disease intervention is critical to reducing total cost of care, for employees and their employers.
    • Regence supports employers aiming to achieve this goal by providing resources that help members understand their health benefits and better manage chronic diseases.
  3. The need to break down stigma in the workplace and provide tools for life skills management.
    • Preventive steps and early intervention are important for mental health too. 
    • Learning stress management skills and applying them at work and at home improves productivity and the quality of life.
    • From self-care resources to in-person and virtual doctor visits, Regence helps employees to effectively manage stress and prevent long-term health issues.

Employers have a unique platform to make a significant impact on workforce health in their organizations, which they can effectively leverage with a health care strategy. Through shared decision-making and partnership, health insurers like Regence can also help to facilitate positive change in employee behavior.