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Florida Chamber Member Sodexo Discusses Workplace Wellness

“The overall goal of the program is to design a workplace wellness solution that would yield strong
returns on investment for our clients and to improve the overall health and well-being of the community.”

Nebeyou Abebe, subject-matter expert on population health for Sodexo.


Nearly 40 percent of all employee healthcare costs are being spent on preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and related conditions. In fact, spending on preventable chronic illnesses nationally accounts for 18 percent of the GDP and is projected to rise sharply by 2040. One way businesses are taking the lead on this issues is by creating workplace wellness programs that engage employees at work and at home, increasing the likelihood of success. Healthy employees means healthier communities and a healthier state.

Sodexo has a long standing commitment to making Florida healthier and continues to create programs that help in this arena.

We’ve created a number of initiatives that improve the quality of life of our own employees, our clients and their customers and employees. Since we are a global player in food services and the Sodexo Foundation, which was founded in 1999, has made more than $17 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America… Most recently, we’ve partnered with the YMCA of Central Florida for our latest pilot program called Communities for Health, which will focus on the idea that when employees make good choices at work, those choices translate into their lives outside of work.

Communities for Health, a three-year pilot program launched in Orlando, will help address cost factors involved with business healthcare costs and will work to engage employees in all aspects of their lives.

With the rising prevalence of chronic disease which drive the majority of a company’s health care expenditures, many companies are looking at workplace wellness programs as a solution to not only drive down the cost of care but to improve the overall health and wellbeing of their employees. Unfortunately, many workplace wellness programs really haven’t been that successful in terms of achieving those two objectives… so what Communities for Health is trying to do is really enhance traditional employee wellness programs by taking a more systems-based approach to engaging employees, starting off at work and then continuing that engagement as they go home and go out into the community. And that’s where the partnerships with the YMCA comes in- we are able to not only introduce some of our quality of life programs but the ones that the YMCA offers as well and we are able to utilize their centers in the community to help with the engagement. The overall goal of the program is to design a workplace wellness solution that would yield strong returns on investment for our clients and to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the community.

The Florida Chamber believes that working to improve employee health and wellbeing is just good business. It allows companies to lower their healthcare costs and improves company efficiency.

Sodexo is the 18th largest employer in the world and provides quality of life services, which means providing services that positively impact individual, organizational and community performances, whether it’s through sustainable practices or by promoting health and wellness- not just for their employees, but around the world.

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