Tag Archives: health and wellness

American Express

American Express Receives 2012 Champions In Health Award

Community Health Charities of Arizona (CHC-AZ) selected American Express as the winner of the 2012 Champions in Health Award.

Selected annually, the Champions in Health Award program honors a local business in Arizona that demonstrates and promotes a commitment to providing a healthy workplace within their company as well as in the community through support of CHC-AZ member charities.

American Express is a global service company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences meant to build business success and improve lives.

In addition to improving lives through its business and providing health and wellness programs for its employees, American Express invites CHC-AZ member health charities to take part in its annual employee giving campaign. During the campaign, American Express employees give personal financial support to the 41 member agencies of Community Health Charities of Arizona.

CHC-AZ provides all organizations the opportunity to participate in workplace give campaigns, and they are dedicated to improving the health and wellness of Arizona residents.

American Express is interested in making a difference in the lives of Arizona residents as well and actively partners with many of CHC-AZ member charities through board leadership, volunteer involvement and fund raising efforts.

For more information about American Express and Community Health Charities of Arizona, respectively, visit americanexpress.com and healthcharities.org.

Exercise

AZNow.Biz Launches Health And Wellness Series For The New Year

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to become a healthier version of you in the next year. For some people that may mean hitting the gym, for some it means putting down the cupcake and picking up an apple, but however you intend to get healthy, AZNow.Biz’s Health & Wellness Series has something for you.

We sent our team out into the world of gyms, diets and lifestyle changes to pick out a few options to share with you. From CrossFit to Weight Watchers, we’ve got something you can use.

Part One: Monique Zatcoff, an ASU journalism student, checks out CrossFit Scottsdale, which focuses on high-intensity and strength building exercises.

Part Two: Shelby Hill, always one to shy away from gyms and exercising, tries out Dr. Ben Bocchocchio’s metabolic makeover.

Part Three: The first step to being a healthier version of you requires eating the right foods to better your health and possibly help you lose weight. We’ll let you know which “super foods” can do it all.

Part Four: Michael A. Covalciuc, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Mayo Executive Health Program at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, shares how to treat digestive symptoms…with a gluten-free diet.

Part Five: Alan Leibowitz, chief academic officer at Banner Health, shares fitness exercise guru Jack Lalanne’s healthy lifestyle…and how you can do it, too.

Part Six: Dana Wentzel, regular hiker and outdoor enthusiast, shares his first experience at Massage Envy. (January 31)

Part Seven: Kristine Cannon, Assistant Web Editor for AZ Big Media, fills us in on “yogic sleep,” which helps to relieve stress, enhance health and redirect unwanted habits and patterns, among other things. (February 7)

Part Eight: Tom Milton, a partner in the consulting and lobbying firm of Bilsten & Associates, shares his Weight Watchers success story. (February 14)

Check back for more in our Health & Wellness Series.

A Solid Health Management Program Can Be A Good Investment For Any Company

Many population health management programs face closer scrutiny when a company is faced with difficult budget decisions during a tough economy. But health and health care costs are a strategic priority for every business whether they acknowledge it or not — and most readily do.

In times of economic downturn, companies might want to consider increasing their spending on health and wellness initiatives. Why? Because in an economic downturn, maximizing productivity and reducing costs are more important than ever.

The true cost of poor health includes indirect costs, as well as the more obvious direct cost of medical claims. The more bad health habits or risks employees have, the lower their productivity; and health risks directly equate to higher health care costs, both direct and indirect. A number of medical conditions, if left unmanaged or poorly managed, become catastrophic, ending in hospitalization and reduced functioning, thereby reducing productivity. Lastly, health and wellness programming is a relatively low cost and important item. It decreases disease, but also influences whether employees like their jobs and feel cared about by an employer, which in turn affects productivity and absenteeism.

There are some key preventive measures a company can take that help keep people from slipping into a high risk, high-cost category. First, know what the most common or costly conditions are in your population and offer programs targeted to help your people manage these conditions. Encourage the local medical community to be an active partner with innovative management tools and strategies. Also increase the employees’ stake in the equation, but not regressively. Again, making disease management easy and affordable will likely save money. Lastly, look for quality in the medical care your employees get. Help your employees find quality care for catastrophic, high-cost conditions, and make helpful, quality information easy to access. There are now a number of good Web-based sources of quality medical information, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Library of Medicine, and mayoclinic.com.

When prioritizing program elements during tough economic times, companies can minimize downstream health costs and productivity impacts if they focus on initiatives that prevent the onset of high-cost, productivity-lowering diseases such as diabetes. In most health promotion and disease prevention programs, we know there is a three-to-one return on your investment, and you get the pay back in one to two years.

For mild conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes, company policies should make it easy to treat these conditions, and encourage medication and behavioral approaches. Make common medicines cheap to the end user, and encourage regular use of prescribed medications. Back it up with multimodal messages throughout the year. Make talking to a human easy when people have questions about their condition or medications with telephonic coaches, disease management professionals, group classes, or an onsite nurse.

Online personal health managers are a new consumer tool that will likely play a key role in helping people take their medications and manage their conditions. Using an online personal health manager also forms a bridge to doctors, and can give personalized day-to-day support and guidance to people via the Internet.

Keep healthy people healthy to prevent downward risk migration that can make health costs jump, and engage as many of your employees as possible in something positive. The first step is to get their attention. A health assessment tool provides a teachable moment and a jumping off point for engaging people in the wellness options you may offer.

Tracking data can often represent a significant time and dollar investment that may be difficult to keep up with during lean budget times. But the old adage of you can’t manage what you don’t measure is true in population health management. Maintaining a database of health status and trends is critical for making informed decisions on what interventions will have the most impact for your particular population. It also helps you justify the expenditure by showing whether you’re making a difference over time.

Use a health assessment as your baseline data set. It allows immediate feedback to the individual and gives group data for needs assessment and program development. It allows tracking of change over time, an early warning system and modeling of pay back from various program options. And it’s low cost, especially the online versions.

When faced with difficult budget decisions, if you are contemplating cuts to your health and wellness programming, stop and think about the downstream implications. Preserving these programs not only will help you keep your bottom line healthy, but also may improve your employees’ health, productivity and morale.

Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

AHA Profile: Pat Nevin

Pat Nevin
Vice President, General Manager
Fox 10 & My 45

Health and wellness has always played a significant role in Pat Nevin’s life. But today it takes on whole new meaning.

“In 2009, I competed in six triathlons in Phoenix, Payson, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,” he says. “I hope to compete in at least 10 events in 2010, starting (with) this year’s triathlon season with the Navy Seals 1/2 Ironman race in April in San Diego (1.2-mile ocean swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run).”

In addition to being an avid runner, Nevin serves as vice president and general manager for FOX 10 and My 45 in Phoenix. Since 2004, Nevin has been responsible for all departments within the television stations’ operations in the nation’s 12th largest television market. With more than two decades of television experience, Nevin has helped increase the top-rated station’s viewing audience by serving the interests of the community, and staying actively engaged with station clients and station viewers throughout the Valley.

“Heart disease and its complications impact many of our television station’s viewers, our employees and their families — plus heart disease runs in my family. Several years ago my grandfather passed away from heart complications,” Nevin says.

As a married father of two, Nevin’s family is a top priority and passion in his life. It’s for this reason, and many others, that he remains committed to a heart-healthy lifestyle and he is leading by example.  “Keeping my heart healthy is something I take seriously,” he says, “and it’s great because I’m actually managing to have a lot fun in the process!”

www.myfoxphoenix.com

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

AHA Profile: Peter Harper

Peter Harper
Vice President and Treasurer
Scottsdale Insurance Co.

As the American Heart Association’s board of directors chairman, Peter Harper brings nearly 25 years of finance leadership experience to the role of vice president and treasurer of Scottsdale Insurance Co.

Scottsdale Insurance is one of the largest excess and surplus, and specialty lines carriers in the nation, with more than 1,400 employees and annual premiums in excess of $2 billion.

Prior to his current role, Harper served as treasurer and chief financial officer of Suntron Corporation. Additionally, he has held senior leadership positions with Iomega Corporation and General Electric.

Harper uses his leadership skills to rally employees at Scottsdale Insurance when it comes to workplace wellness, and understands the benefits associated with a healthy work force.

“Heart disease costs U.S. businesses $24 billion a year in lost productivity. Through wellness programs, companies are able to attract exceptional employees, while enhancing productivity and morale at the same time,” Harper says.

In addition, recent studies have shown that for every dollar spent on health and wellness, companies can save between $3 and $15. Harper says those savings are almost immediately seen within 12 to 18 months of implementing a program.

Harper also spearheads efforts to get employees involved with the American Heart Association’s Start! Heart Walk each year. Scottsdale Insurance has sponsored the Lifestyle Change Award for the past three years.

“I am passionate about physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, which aligns with our Lifestyle Change Award sponsorship,” he says. “If we take the initiative to proactively reduce our risk of heart disease — including establishing a physical fitness regimen and adopting a healthier diet — not only will we improve the odds of not incurring life-threatening heart attacks or strokes, but we will be able to enjoy a happier, longer life with our family and friends who care most about us.”

www.scottsdaleins.com

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010