The Well-Being Journal

The Quiet Emergency in Healthcare

Sandy Cummings

Can companies that offer personal money management programs improve the health of their employees and their own bottom lines? According to Leah Binder’s Forbes.com article, Healthways and Dave Ramsey believe so. Healthways CEO Ben Leedle calls financial distress the “the single greatest quiet emergency in the health world.”

From the c-suite to the front lines, some two-thirds of employees at American companies live one paycheck away from financial collapse. In response to this startling trend, Healthways recently announced an exclusive agreement with Dave Ramsey’s Lampo Group to deliver the CORE™ Financial Wellness program as part of its Well-Being Improvement Solution.

As part of the collaboration, Healthways will scale online delivery of the CORE™ curriculum, bringing new content, interactive features and support to the self-directed program and making it accessible via all media, including mobile devices to millions of Americans through their employers, health plans, health systems, communities and families. Healthways will also work with Gallup to incorporate financial well-being in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which tracks employee health like a stock market ticker.

So why should businesses care about employees’ finances? Healthways studied the connection between good health and good personal finance and found that “stress from finances took all their energy, and it wasn’t until employees got their financial house in order” that they could take on the challenge of improving their health.

By offering Dave Ramsey’s program that explores the deeply personal aspects of managing money, Healthways is poised to help workers improve their productivity and companies improve their profitability.

Topics: Financial Well-Being In the News Business Performance Dave Ramsey Competitive Advantage Stress

Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke Deaths: Sizing Up the Opportunity

Sandy Cummings

Howard Lewine, M.D., wrote a compelling post yesterday on the Harvard Health Blog describing the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report entitled, "Vital Signs: Avoidable Deaths from Heart Disease, Stroke, and Hypertensive Disease -- United States, 2001-2010."

He writes:

During a press conference to present the study results, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said, “As a doctor, I find it heartbreaking to know that the vast majority of people who are having a heart attack or stroke, under the age of 65 in particular, and dying from it didn’t have to have that happen.”

So, what does it take to change this story? Dr. Lewine cites research from the Harvard School of Public Health that points to the power of lifestyle changes (e.g., involving diet, exercise, and abstinence from smoking), following it up with tips to lower your own risk. It's a quick read, and a helpful one.

If you think this information isn't really relevant to you, consider this from Dr. Lewine:

No matter what your age and how good things look today, your future risk of heart disease, stroke and other related diseases is high. It’s true for all of us.

 

 

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being Links of the Week In the News Healthcare Health Prevention Wellness Chronic Disease

Colleague Appreciation in True Healthways Fashion

Jennifer Rudloff

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Each summer, Healthways has an event at its various locations to show appreciation to all of the colleagues who work so hard all year long.

In true Healthways fashion, each location incorporated activities to boost well-being.

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This year, some locations like Franklin, Tenn., held a Summer Block Party, complete with family bootcamp, numerous inflatables, one-of-a-kind relays, carnival games, live music, face painting and caricature drawings.

Other locations, like St. Louis, Mo., had a Summer Party complete with recess games in the courtyard, barbecue and a "Tacky Tourist" costume contest.

To see a few more pictures, visit our Facebook page.

 

Topics: In the News Workplace Well-Being Community

Soda Ban Battle Begins

Jennifer Rudloff

Reposted from the MeYou Health Blog, written by Eugénie Olson

Beverage makers and the New York City Board of Health are getting ready for a big battle over sugary drinks, and it’s going to be anything but sweet.

In response to a recent citywide ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, the American Beverage Association has partnered with New York City restaurant and movie-theater owners to challenge the Board of Health and ask that a judge reject the size limits on soda. The ban is slated to begin in March 2013.

The restrictions, originally proposed by mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, were championed as a way to help control the growing obesity problem in New York City, where more than half of all adults are overweight or obese. City officials argue that by limiting soda size at restaurants, street carts, and entertainment and sports venues, they can promote healthier living.

Indeed, they feel the ban is well within the rights of the department. “The Board of Health absolutely has the authority to regulate matters affecting health, and the obesity crisis killing nearly 6,000 New Yorkers a year—and impacting the lives of thousands more—unquestionably falls under its purview,” wrote the mayor’s chief spokesman, Marc La Vorgna, in a statement.

Beverage makers and New York City restaurant and movie theater owners feel differently, of course. They believe that the ban is “a dramatic departure” from the amount of influence that the Board of Health typically exerts on the well-being of its residents, and that the city should defer to state legislators on this issue. The soft-drink industry has had luck in the past when appealing to state legislators; in 2010 it convinced them to scrap a proposed soda tax.

What do you think? Do you agree with soft-drink makers that the Board of Health went too far, and that New York City residents should be able to buy whatever size soda they like? Or do you think that the ban is a good way to help improve New Yorkers’ well-being?

Topics: Healthy Living In the News Weight Loss Health