July 23, 2013

With a New Partnership Comes More Ways to Transform Lives

Today marks another exciting moment in Healthways’ history and the evolution of our comprehensive well-being improvement solution. As we announced in a press release today, Healthways is now partnering with Dean Ornish, M.D., a leading biomedical scientist, renowned physician and leader in lifestyle treatments for chronic diseases.

His work has earned the praise of leaders around the world—from distinguished scientists and physicians to presidents and celebrities. And Healthways is a pretty big fan, too.

With our history of chronic disease management and prevention, working with Dr. Ornish is a natural fit. We’re excited to be the exclusive provider of Dr. Ornish’s lifestyle management programs to health systems, health plans, hospitals and physician groups, which are recognized by payers, such as Medicare. The treatment method is so powerful that it has even been proven to reverse chronic diseases, such as severe coronary heart disease.

Ornish QuoteIn our ongoing mission to create a healthier world, one person at a time, we couldn’t be more thrilled about this partnership and to spread some inspiring words from Dr. Ornish himself …

To learn more about how we’ll be partnering together and hear more from Dr. Ornish in a video, visit our solutions page.


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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June 21, 2013

Colleague Appreciation in True Healthways Fashion

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Each summer, Healthways has an event at its various locations to show appreciation to all of the colleagues who work so hard all year long.

In true Healthways fashion, each location incorporated activities to boost well-being.

Summer Party 6.19.13 011

 

This year, some locations like Franklin, Tenn., held a Summer Block Party, complete with family bootcamp, numerous inflatables, one-of-a-kind relays, carnival games, live music, face painting and caricature drawings.

Other locations, like St. Louis, Mo., had a Summer Party complete with recess games in the courtyard, barbecue and a “Tacky Tourist” costume contest.

To see a few more pictures, visit our Facebook page.

 


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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March 19, 2013

Employee Well-Being Predicts Productivity and Retention

As employers today struggle with the rising costs of healthcare, we at Healthways are compelled to form a deeper understanding of the impact of well-being. Taking a comprehensive look at the well-being of employees at a Fortune 100 company in a first of its kind longitudinal study, scientists found that overall well-being is not only a predictor of healthcare costs but also other business outcomes related to productivity and retention.

A recent press release announced the publishing of this latest Healthways study in Population Health Management. The study results show that overall well-being is a predictor of outcomes related to:

  • Medical and Rx spending
  • ER visits and hospital admission
  • Absenteeism
  • Short-term disability
  • Presenteeism
  • Job performance
  • Intention to stay
  • Voluntary and involuntary turnover

It was also found that well-being improvement was significantly related to positive changes in most employer outcomes.

How can this shape your company’s future?

These study results build a strong business case for well-being as an organizational performance strategy. If your company does adopt an effective one, you could see substantial savings through the improved health, performance and retention of your workers.

Enlarge Infographic

Infographic shows findings from the first part of the study

So what is well-being and how is it measured?

Overall well-being is multidimensional, considering a range of important life domains related to work, finances, emotional health, physical health and behavioral risks, as well as the quality of one’s connections and community.

For this study, baseline overall well-being was measured using individual results from the Healthways Well-Being Assessment®, healthcare claims and human resource administrative data.

The first part of the study examined the impact of well-being on the employer’s outcomes over one year. To see a summary of findings, expand the infographic shown here.

The second part of the study measured the impact over a longer period.

 

Want to learn more about our proven approach to improving well-being? Visit our website or contact us.


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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December 11, 2012

It’s Better to Give

With the holiday season upon us, Healthways continues its tradition of partnering with local organizations to shop for children who are at risk or less fortunate. It’s a tradition that began several years ago when a group of administrative assistants suggested this thoughtful idea as an alternative to a colleague gift exchange and lunch.

Getting Ready to Shop

St. Louis colleagues getting ready to shop

At each of our locations, colleagues step away from their desks in the holiday spirit and head out by the busload to shop. Each person gets to shop for a specific child, picking up items from their list like clothes, toys and books. Healthways picks up the tab and we all get to be a part of spreading holiday cheer into our communities. It’s one of our colleagues’ favorite ways to be involved in sustaining our values-based culture.

With all of our locations participating, Healthways expects to give more than $120,000 worth of gifts and donations this year. Several locations have already completed their shopping, and others will wrap up this week. It’s wonderful to think about the smiles that will light up on Christmas morning, knowing that we’re helping bring joy and showing love and compassion to those who need it.

These are some of the local organizations and people our colleagues across the U.S. are working with to shop for those in need:

Wrapping

Our San Antonio location aglow wrapping gifts for kids. See more pictures as they roll in on our Facebook page.

Chandler, Ariz.: Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, New Horizon Youth Homes, Be a Santa to a Senior
Des Moines, Iowa: Bidwell Riverside Center
Franklin, Tenn. (HQ): Youth Villages and McNeilly Children’s Center
Hawaii: Hawaii H.O.M.E. Project
Minnesota: Union Gospel Mission
Salt Lake City, Utah: Two families who have a child receiving treatment for cancer at Primary Children’s Medical Center
San Antonio, Texas: Family Services Association and San Antonio Humane Society
St. Louis, Mo.: Operation Food Search together with 7 different churches in North St. Charles county
Others in Dallas, Texas and Seattle, Wash.

You can help too.
We know from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® that there are many Americans having trouble affording basic necessities like shelter and food. So we’d like to challenge you to also take a moment this holiday season to count your blessings, and think about how you can bestow one on someone in need. And maybe even make a tradition of it.

Even if you can’t give a tangible gift, an intangible gift such as your presence can mean the world to someone and benefit you too. A Gallup survey in conjunction with the Well-Being Index found that people who volunteered in the last six months experienced higher personal well-being across all domains (emotional health, healthy behavior, physical health and more) than those who did not volunteer. It just goes to show that it’s truly better to give.


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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November 30, 2012

25 Days of Kindness

Reposted from the Blue Zones Project Blog

As you move through life each day, you come in contact with countless individuals—pass hundreds of people on the roadways, move past a dozens of people in grocery aisles and halls at work, and many more nearly every other place you find yourself each day. While your paths may cross, the circumstances that led you there can cause you to experience that moment in a completely different way. For example, while you’re happily enjoying your lunch, your server could be hiding behind a smile while worrying about circumstances at home.

You really never know what others are going through. If you just stopped to ask yourself how your daily encounters impacted those around you, maybe the world would be a little brighter of a place, right? Well, there’s no time like the present!

It’s amazing how a single friendly gesture has the power to completely turn around a person’s day. By performing random acts of kindness for those in your community, you’ll spread the spirit of generosity and show others that you care, all while making your town a little happier place to live. How’s that for building community?

So go ahead and join us for 25 Days of Kindness, maybe even make it a family affair, and bring a little extra happy to someone’s day.

Here’s how it works:

25 Days of Kindness

Example of a random act of kindness you’ll see on our Facebook page

- We’ll recommend a new random act of kindness on Facebook each day, but don’t feel limited by what we post! Feel free to get creative and come up with some ideas of your own.

- If you complete an act of kindness, please share it! We love a good heart-warming story and would so enjoy hearing more about how you chose to brighten someone’s day, the impact you had on others, and how it made you feel. And if you’re the recipient of an act of kindness, we want you to know how it made your day.

By sharing your stories, you just might inspire someone to spread a little kindness to another.

- Remember, everything is more fun when you do it with friends. You have the power to multiply the goodness in your community by sharing with friends, co-workers, and family and encouraging them to jump in too.

It all starts December 1. To learn more and start spreading a little holiday cheer visit us on Facebook!

Healthways Facebook Page


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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November 13, 2012

Nov. 15: Are you taking the day off? It’s the Great American Smokeout.

On November 15, 2012, people across the nation will be taking the day off from smoking and other tobacco products by participating in the American Cancer Society’s 37th Annual Great American Smokeout. Healthways is here to help.

We’re here to educate and supply people with resources and support to quit successfully. Through our QuitNet® program, more than 1.4 million members worldwide have saved almost $5 billion by kicking the tobacco habit for good. And when people become healthier by quitting, they also become happier and more productive, which benefits not just the individual, but families, friends and employers, too.

Learn more amazing facts about the impact of tobacco use, and some of the resources we offer for quitting in the Healthways infographic below. And if you’re a tobacco user, remember to mark your calendar for Nov. 15—take the day off and then quit for good.


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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November 09, 2012

Third Annual Ragnar Relay Tennessee, Sponsored by Healthways

Healthways is a proud sponsor of the third annual Ragnar Relay Tennessee, which began today as more than 2,600 runners of all ages took their mark in Chattanooga, Tenn., on a journey toward Nashville. Teams of 12 runners divide the 196 miles into 36 relay legs.

Along the way, teams will pass by volunteer-supported exchanges for recharging. Healthways headquarters in Franklin is exchange #30, where teams can stop for food, hydration and rest. They’ll finish the race at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park on Saturday, Nov. 10 between 2 and 8 p.m.

With its great weather and beautiful outdoors, the state of Tennessee should be a shining example of well-being. However, Tennessee ranks as the 10th worst state in the nation in terms of overall well-being and the fifth worst in physical health (according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®). The Ragnar Relay provides a wonderful opportunity for Healthways to support the state’s well-being improvement and a great cause.

This year, Ragnar Relay Tennessee partnered with Soles4Souls, a nonprofit organization that helps provide new and lightly used shoes to individuals and families in need. The organization has been collecting shoes around the state at several retail locations and from runners; they will donate the thousands of pairs collected after the race to families in need throughout Tennessee.

Thank you to all of the Healthways colleagues who are participating—runners and volunteers. If you see any Ragnar participants this weekend, join us in cheering them on!


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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October 23, 2012

Soda Ban Battle Begins

Reposted from the MeYou Health Blog, written by Eugénie Olson

Beverage makers and the New York City Board of Health are getting ready for a big battle over sugary drinks, and it’s going to be anything but sweet.

In response to a recent citywide ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, the American Beverage Association has partnered with New York City restaurant and movie-theater owners to challenge the Board of Health and ask that a judge reject the size limits on soda. The ban is slated to begin in March 2013.

The restrictions, originally proposed by mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, were championed as a way to help control the growing obesity problem in New York City, where more than half of all adults are overweight or obese. City officials argue that by limiting soda size at restaurants, street carts, and entertainment and sports venues, they can promote healthier living.

Indeed, they feel the ban is well within the rights of the department. “The Board of Health absolutely has the authority to regulate matters affecting health, and the obesity crisis killing nearly 6,000 New Yorkers a year—and impacting the lives of thousands more—unquestionably falls under its purview,” wrote the mayor’s chief spokesman, Marc La Vorgna, in a statement.

Beverage makers and New York City restaurant and movie theater owners feel differently, of course. They believe that the ban is “a dramatic departure” from the amount of influence that the Board of Health typically exerts on the well-being of its residents, and that the city should defer to state legislators on this issue. The soft-drink industry has had luck in the past when appealing to state legislators; in 2010 it convinced them to scrap a proposed soda tax.

What do you think? Do you agree with soft-drink makers that the Board of Health went too far, and that New York City residents should be able to buy whatever size soda they like? Or do you think that the ban is a good way to help improve New Yorkers’ well-being?


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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August 29, 2012

Walking Together for Longer, Healthier Life

walking togetherWith all of our modern technology, connecting quickly has become easier. But there’s something to be said for trading some high-tech time with real, face-to-face quality time every once in a while. When we do this by going for a walk with friends, for example, it can do wonders for our physical and emotional health.

Successful Strides

Four years after becoming the first Blue Zones Project city, Albert Lea, Minn., continues to be a living, breathing example of this. A recent news article reported the city has 30 moais, or groups who continue to get together twice a week for an hour-long walk, bike ride or dancing. This Midwestern city has shown how a healthy habit can become a life-changing lifestyle.

Those who’ve participated in the Blue Zones program and adopted its principles—like regular activity and healthy eating—have experienced numerous benefits, such as:

  • Improved physical and emotional health
  • Elimination of medication for certain health conditions
  • An increased lifespan of 2.9 years on average

In summary, walking with others can make it easier to adopt healthy choices, which can grow into a lifestyle, which can lead to well-being improvement beyond measure.

Some Pep for Your Step

When was the last time you met up with a group of friends, colleagues or neighbors and went for a walk? Whether you have a health-related goal or would like to reconnect on a deeper level, consider making contact and find a time that would work. You could even consider organizing a “walking school bus” in your neighborhood, like described in this YouTube video. One step is all you need to get started. And if you want to use a little high-tech to initiate the conversation, a quick text probably wouldn’t hurt.


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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August 06, 2012

6 Culprits Hurting Well-Being at Work

Reposted from the Well-Being Wire by MeYou Health

For as much time as we spending working, it seems so easy to lose track of the impact our worklife can have on our overall well-being. So here are six of the common culprits that take a swipe at our well-being at work, along with a few simple ideas for the small actions we can take to tackle them—

Multitasking

Many people multitask in search of great productivity, but oftentimes this kind of distracted behavior actually makes us less productive. Multitaskers are typically less focused and experience higher levels of stress, and multitasking can even strain personal relationships and lead to accidents (think texting while driving). Instead, try tackling just one task at a time and giving it 100%. Start with a single activity and focus on it for ten minutes straight. Occasional interruptions are expected during the workday, but being fully present and avoiding the many temptations in our day can lead to much better results. 

Active listening means making eye contact and repeating what someone has just said.

Poor Communication

When talking to co-workers, it’s all too easy to half-listen while you think about your own response or what’s for lunch. To avoid a potentially damaging discord, the next time you speak to a colleague, try practicing active listening techniques. While the other person is speaking, focus your full attention on what he or she is saying. Look at the person in the eyes, and when it’s your turn, repeat back what he or she has said. Tuning in fully promotes openness between people, helps avoid misunderstandings because you have to confirm what the other person actually said.

Avoidance

Building relationships at work is one of the keys to a successful career, but many people find themselves in routines that keep them away from people they don’t know. Choose someone at work who is new to you or whom you rarely interact with. When you see him or her today, make the effort to say hello, and follow it up with a friendly smile. Breaking out of this rut can help you learn more about your workplace and your colleagues, and will give you a reputation for being warm and engaging, not cool or unapproachable.

Procrastination

There’s nothing worse than having something you’re not looking forward to doing in the back of your mind all day. Maybe it’s making an unpleasant phone call or addressing an issue with a co-worker. Why not try to identify the toughest task you have on your plate, and take steps to address that task first rather than putting it off until later in the day? Get it done first, and then the rest of your day will feel like a breeze. It also gives you a lift because you’ll feel proud that you were able to get it done so early.

Cluttered workspaces can lead to stress and lost time when it comes to finding things.

Clutter
  

Whether it’s papers piled high on your desk, or digital files strewn everywhere on your hard drive, disorganization can lead to distress! Clutter makes it harder to find things and this can cost you time and cause unnecessary stress. Try recycling or throwing away things that you don’t need and make a small stack (or folder) of items that really do need your attention. Return other objects to their rightful places in your work area, and banish that frustrating feeling of not being able to find the things you’re looking for. Cleaned-up workspace, clear-thinking mind!

Overdoing It  

Sometime it feels like the work will never stop coming, and more than ever, our many gadgets and gizmos keep us tethered to our workday tasks. Try making a conscious decision to create a boundary between work and home by turning off the technology that keeps you connected to the office. After you get home tonight, do not check your work email, voicemail, or texts, and turn off your smartphone. Take it a step further and limit yourself to 30 minutes of work talk once you’re off the clock today. This may help you unwind, but it also leaves more time for the many other important aspects of life, like family and friends.


Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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