“Businesses are Essential” to Better Health Outcomes

The latest edition of The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Bottom Line features Dr. John Armstrong, Florida Surgeon General, who talks about Healthiest Weight Florida, cancer centers and the role Florida’s businesses can take in lowering healthcare costs.

From job creation to education reform, Florida is headed in the right direction again. And when it comes to healthcare, Florida is also making the right moves to become one of the healthiest states in the nation.

“We are making significant progress addressing the top threat to our healthy future, which is the challenge of weight,” Dr. Armstrong said about Healthiest Weight Florida – a program to help Floridians make better choices.  “Right now, only one-third of Florida’s adults are at a healthy weight. And on this trend by 2030, two thirds of Florida’s adults could be obese.”

And according to Dr. Armstrong, the defining factor of success for better outcomes in our state, from programs like Healthiest Weight to private wellness programs, is the Florida Department of Health’s collaboration with businesses.

“Businesses are essential for shaping healthy environments in the workplace and in their communities,” he said. “We are very invested in promoting worksite wellness. But worksite wellness is more than providing screenings and health coaches in the workplace. Worksite wellness is about transforming the workplace so that healthy choices became easier.”

But achieving better outcomes doesn’t stop at the workplace. On a larger scale, the unique and proactive way Florida has approached cancer treatment and screening is something not seen in many states.

Currently, cancer is the number one cause of death in the state of Florida. To help, the Department of Health has launched the Florida System of Cancer Research and Collaboration. With help from Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, $80 million has already been invested to help elevate Florida’s  cancer centers to be National Cancer Institute(NCI)-designated centers— a designation which recognizes centers around the country that meet rigorous criteria for world-class, state-of-the-art programs in cancer research.

“What that means, is standards,” explains Dr. Armstrong. “In the process, we will improve outcomes for patients and families dealing with cancer here in our state. We will make Florida a very attractive destination for the research dollars coming from the National Cancer Institute and other private foundations, and we will have a standardized process for screening for cancer and preventing cancer in the first place.”

The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line is a web-based program featuring key figures from Florida’s corridors of power. Hosting the conversation with Dr. John Armstrong is David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber.

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