By Stacy Bowman-Hade, Sodexo
The prevalence of chronic disease continues to grow in staggering numbers across the U.S. and around the world. Employers are feeling much of the burden of these costs with nearly 40 percent of all employee healthcare costs being spent on preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and related conditions. Employers are searching for a more effective (and cost-effective) approach to workplace wellness that would improve the engagement and compliance of employees, especially frontline employees—many of whom are at the greatest risk for chronic disease.
Florida Chamber member Sodexo and the YMCA of Central Florida have partnered in a new evidence-based approach to employee wellness. Communities for Health, a healthier workforce initiative for working families begins as three-year pilot in Orlando in June and aims to combat preventable chronic illnesses that rack up healthcare expenditures, which nationally account for 18 percent of the GDP and is projected to rise sharply by 2040. The initiative is designed to enhance traditional, and mostly underutilized, employee wellness programs through a comprehensive, system-based approach that engages employees at work and at home, increasing the likelihood of success.
Through this pilot, Sodexo and the YMCA of Central Florida will build a scalable model to significantly impact the engagement of employees, and their families, into evidence-based programs for chronic disease prevention and intervention by utilizing an integrated community approach. The overarching goal of the program is to design and implement a workplace wellness program that improves employee health and wellbeing while yielding a clear return on investment for employers.
Written by Stacy Bowman-Hade, Director, Local Market Engagement, Sodexo