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Self-Care

New Initiative To Improve Employee Health And Battle Chronic Disease

A new employer outreach initiative geared specifically toward the health of employees both in and outside of the workplace was launched by HealthyFresno, a community-wide health, wellness and disease prevention health program.

As a way to battle the high rates of chronic disease in Fresno County, Calif., HealthyFresno was established by America’s pharmaceutical companies and local healthcare partners at the Ted C. Wills Community Center. The new initiative, organized by a group of leading local employers, concentrates on providing employees with preventative information concerning the chronic diseases that most likely target employees, such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

"Preventable chronic disease is a big concern in the business community because businesses cannot be healthy without healthy workers," said Deb Nankivell, executive director of the Fresno Business Council. "HealthyFresno’s employer outreach initiative gives us the tools and resources to address the problem head on, so that we can help Fresnans lead healthier lives in and outside of the workplace."

According to the organizers of HealthyFresno, the  initiative is necessary for Fresno; where the community spends about $2 billion every year on chronic diseases, mostly due to reduced productivity and lost work days resulting from employees’ chronic health problems.

According to the Partnership for Prevention, much of business’ healthcare spending goes to dealing with employee’s illness after it happens. More than 95 percent of the nation’s health expenditures – including most of the billions of dollars employers spend on health coverage – is committed to diagnosing and treating disease only after it becomes apparent.

Under the new initiative, HealthyFresno:

  • educates employees about chronic disease prevention and management strategies;

  • provides employers with information about how to enhance wellness in their organization;

  • offers guidance on how to encourage employees to enhance their personal health and wellness on and off the job; and

  • provides access to online tools, including the personalized health assessment and diet and fitness trackers available at www.HealthyFresno.org and http://espanol.HealthyFresno.org.

"HealthyFresno’s employer outreach program has the potential to significantly improve the health and lives of employees and their families and the community as a whole," said Sharon Brigner, a registered nurse from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. "We hope that local employers will join HealthyFresno’s effort to help lower absenteeism and increase productivity among theiremployees."

For more information on HealthyFresno, call (866) 458-4937 or visit www.HealthyFresno.org .


© 2007 Health Resources Publishing