South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday October 24, 2017
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April 2013 - Volume 9 - Issue 10

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Making Florida a Leader in Worksite Wellness!

Engaging Florida businesses to even begin THINKING about worksite wellness has been an interesting journey. In 2005, when the Florida Heart Research Institute made the strategic business decision to develop programs and services to assist Florida-based businesses start and conduct worksite wellness programming for their employees, we had no idea how difficult it would be to garner interest. Sharing literature searches of related studies showing a mountain of evidence supporting positive outcomes and a financial return on investment did little to move the needle. Our experience was that most companies thought that providing a health fair with biometric screenings qualified as having a wellness program. For years, we tried to engage our screening clients to provide additional programs and services when we sent the aggregate screening report by highlighting the areas of highest risk. Each time, we would explain that 70% of chronic diseases are preventable by reducing risk factors such as obesity, poor diet, inactivity, or smoking. We would pitch that a carefully targeted worksite wellness program could result in lower healthcare claims and possibly contain the rise in premiums. Employers didn’t seem to get it. However, one vehicle that has caught traction was our creation of a recognition program in 2009. This program has grown in scope and size each year and today, the 2013 Florida Worksite Wellness Forum and Awards is now STATEWIDE with two primary objectives. Our first goal is to encourage more businesses to adopt worksite wellness programming by providing educational sessions where they can learn from subject-matter experts how to start and grow their programs. Secondly, we aim to recognize ALL employers with active worksite wellness programs with documented outcomes, and present awards to those with the most outstanding results. Mark your calendar to attend this event on Friday, April 12, 2013 at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa.
 
Now in its fifth year, this worksite wellness awards program has cultivated quite a following and has captured attention from carriers, brokers, hospitals, and other wellness service providers. Our program this year begins with workshops registration and breakfast with wellness exhibitors eager to help you start or improve your program. The morning workshops are organized in beginner and advanced tracks and participants are free to bounce back and forth. For beginners, we start with “Learn from the Experts” – a moderated panel comprised of previous winners of our awards who will share their lessons learned as they built their programs. The second workshop is “Wellness on a Shoestring Budget” conducted by Jason Lang from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who will explain the CDC's new website the “Healthier Worksite Initiative” and the free resources and tool kits available to all. For those more advanced in wellness programming, we have attorney Peter Marathas back by popular demand who will talk about the “Legal Future of Wellness” and the new unchallenged territory created by the Affordable Care Act aimed to promote worksite wellness. He will be followed by Kirstie Settas-Jones from Seitlin, a Marsh & McLennan Agency and Bill Mauke from Karelia – both experienced leaders that will explain “Taking it to the Next Level: Cutting Edge Ideas". Participants will learn how to structure premium incentives for outcomes-based performance, online portals, the benefits of population health management, etc.
 
The day then shifts with a networking and exhibit hour while attendees register for the awards luncheon. Attendees are encouraged to connect with us through social media: FourSquare, Lanyard and Twitter so they can get the inside scoop on product giveaways during the exhibit hour. The luncheon this year will be held in the hotel’s Starlight Ballroom where a healthy lunch will be served and the awards program begins. Emceed by CBS-4 news anchor, Cynthia Demos, our Keynote Address will be delivered by Paul Terry, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of StayWell Health Management – national leaders in corporate wellness by using data to drive action, solve client problems and to create meaningful engagement and demonstrated outcomes. Paul’s motivational address will discuss “How Healthy, Engaged Employees Drive Productivity”. All nominees will be recognized and then the awards will be presented Academy Award-style in the following three categories: Small Employer Group (less than 500 employees), Mid-sized Employer Group (500 to 1000 employees) and Large Employer Group (more than 1,000 employees). Winners receive a plaque and a $500 cash award to be applied toward their program and become members of our elite “Winners Circle” forever. Following the luncheon is a new VIP Cocktail Reception where attendees get to rub elbows with past and present winners, speakers and exhibitors. This is where the REAL networking begins and relationships are built. It’s a full day of high energy and passionate people committed to improving employee health and productivity through worksite wellness.
To purchase tickets or learn more, please go to www.worksitewellnessawards.org or email me directly at tori@floridaheart.org.  
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