NTX Magazine Volume 9 - Page 72

“It is critical for companies to focus on the health and wellness of their employees for a variety of reasons.” SMALL NORTH TEXAS COMMUNITIES WIN BIG IN STATEWIDE HEALTH CHALLENGE Even for small communities in North Texas, the will to win is big. And the healthy changes being made are even more gratifying than the shiny trophies. Dr. DeFina, president and CEO of the Cooper Institute CARE IN YOUR CITY: with higher healthcare costs and workers whose productivity suffers from illness. Findings released by the Cooper Institute and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology note that high-fit participants showed 40 percent lower average annual healthcare costs compared to low-fit participants, based on Medicare charges after age 65. This savings is significant, potentially equaling an average of $5,242 less for men’s annual healthcare costs and an average of $3,964 less for women’s annual costs. FORT WORTH WORKS TOWARD BECOMING BLUE ZONE Two DFW-area communities were named 2018 Community Challenge Champions – a first-ever tie – in the “It’s Time Texas” community health and wellness challenge. Sponsored by Texas grocer H-E-B, the annual statewide competition encourages communities of all sizes, including schools, businesses, organizations and mayors, to commit to healthy living and ultimately transform their community’s health. More than 21,000 Texans representing 200 communities participated this year, with more than 6,663 combined pounds lost and myriad healthy lifestyle habits formed. The North Texas communities of Lancaster and Prosper each competed in the small community category, which includes Texas cities with populations between 5,001 and 40,000. In addition to pitting their efforts against other cities across the state, a healthy rivalry between these two pushed both of them to be their best. The result? Not only did the two achieve a first-ever tie in the small community category, but they also each earned more points than any other city in the state, including big cities like Austin (effectively showing everyone how it’s done in North Texas!). Each city was awarded a trophy and $1,800, which was received by a local school to implement a healthy initiative. Bragging rights were included. 70 WWW.NTC-DFW.ORG SUMMER 2018 unfit fit Healthy individuals have a 40 percent lower average annual healthcare cost! This study was led by Dr. Justin Bachmann, instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Drs. Laura DeFina and Benjamin Willis of the Cooper Institute, who served as co-authors. “It is critical for companies to focus on the health and wellness of their employees for a variety of reasons,” said Dr. DeFina, president and CEO of the Cooper Institute. “First and foremost, so that they have healthy employees. There is literature that fitness at mid-life is inversely associated with later life health care costs. Other bodies of literature suggest that there can be shorter term cost benefits, as well.” From a business perspective, Dr. DeFina notes, fitter and healthier employees are able to participate in job tasks and responsibilities better and with greater success. For example, jobs that require manual labor, such as climbing power poles, are better accomplished by those who are fit. “The increasing physical inactivity and obesity epidemic are limiting those eligible to serve in the military and in predominantly physical labor-based jobs. Therefore, health and wellness should be a priority for such companies. Further, there is great evidence that regular physical activity leads to improved brain activity and hence, better ability to focus on the work at hand.” Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth is a community- led, well-being improvement initiative that focuses on changing the environment around us to make healthy choices easier. Principles are based on lifestyles in Blue Zones, pockets of the world where people live longer, better lives. In 2013, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Texas Health Resources and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce invited Blue Zones Project to Fort Worth. Blue Zones Project partnered with community leaders to conduct an assessment to find out if Fort Worth was ready to join the initiative. The answer was a resounding “yes,” making Fort Worth the largest city to ever partner with the initiative. Since Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth kicked off in February 2015, more than 74,000 people have gotten involved in Blue Zones Project activities. More than 260 restaurants, grocery stores, schools, worksites, faith-based organizations and other groups have joined the movement to improve well-being. Today, Fort Worth is a Blue Zones Project Demonstration Site, working toward national certification as a Blue Zones Community. Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the U.S. and the largest in North Texas in terms of inpatients and outpatients served, has partnered with Blue Zones Project to support the healthcare system’s mission of improving the health of people in the communities it serves. “The healthcare issues facing our country are complex and need a new and innovative approach.” Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources, said, “We can no longer just treat symptoms or expect people to change their lifestyles when the environment around them does not support those choices. That’s why Texas Health Resources chose to partner with Blue Zones Project, the City of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, to engage the entire community in an effort to make healthy choices easier where people live, work and play.” Berdan emphasizes the importance of employers joining the movement, as people spend C M Y CM MY CY CMY K HEALTH & WELLNESS Be a game changer BUILDING TOMORROW’S WORKFORCE www.dfwjobs.com  workforce@dfwjobs.com  817-695-9184 Industry leaders are partnering with Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas to promote economic growth, create opportunities and transform their workforce. Make Your Move.