Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Help Employees Live Healthier Lives

If you read the special supplement from Tuesday's March 25, 2008 Washington Post, the front page articles discussed Americas need to transform our current health care system. The former US surgeon General, Dr. Richard H Carmona calls for prevention in practice. He explains our current system is not a health care system but a "sick care system that only addresses acute and chronic diseases once they have reached their most deadly and costly stages". He called on Americans to "find common ground" on the health care system through "embracing prevention and better disease management". I couldn't agree more. There is no way we are going to have a healthy economy unless we have a healthy workforce. Let's do something about it! How? We need to develop and implement policies and procedures that make healthy choices easier for people. This includes improving the quality of physical activity at school and at work, creating a healthy food environment at home, and encouraging every employer to make sure every American has access to preventive care benefits. Chronic disease costs the US more than 1 trillion year and accounts for 75% of US health care costs. In a global economy, we need a workforce that is healthy and productive. We need to have systems in place that give people with chronic disease the tools they need to live and manage their diseases successfully. We need prevention, early diagnosis and better management of chronic medical conditions. We need to embrace employee wellness from the top brass down, improving health, and not just pay medical bills. For more information on this subject visit: http://www,businessgrouphealth.org/ or http://www.healthyamericans.org/

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