HealthPoints

Workplace Wellness Programs and the Need for a Health Coach

For executives, key employees, and professionals the concept of wellness programs within their work environment is a bit of an anomaly. With the electronics that we have available to us today, there really isn't an end to the work day. We are tethered to our smart phones almost 24/7 and we receive emails day and night. In this work environment, the idea of work-life balance becomes attenuated by the ongoing different demands of our work. Even when we are on "vacation," most of the people with whom we do business have continuing expectations of our availability.

Woman using cellphone at night

In this environment, where lines between our personal lives and our business lives have been blurred so completely, the need for the workplace to become holistic has increased dramatically. The idea of having yoga classes, cooking classes, stress management seminars, and weight-loss initiatives indicate how employers are attempting to add a measure of life balance into the workplace. These advances in bringing corporate wellness into the mainstream are evidence of corporate America recognizing the added demands they are placing on their skilled workforce and executives. As the United States has moved from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, the ability to leave your work at the workplace has disappeared.

In a Fortune magazine article by Holly Leibowitz Rossi, she quotes Jason Lange, a team lead for workplace health programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who states, "Your wellness program should be embedded into everything your organization does. It’s just as important as sales and marketing. It's just as important as research and development. It's just as important as customer service." The reality is, as the speed of innovative change accelerates in American society, the workplace demands on key decision-makers leaves very little time either in the workplace or outside of the workplace for the life quality opportunities of family, exercise, reading and study; forgotten is the idea of quiet time. Thus, the need to embed both wellness programs and health care management programs become essential to the quality of life of the drivers of your enterprise.

 shutterstock_173798813In this world of excessive demands and time constraints, what gets deferred and in many cases denied by corporate America's key employees beyond the requisite insurance is their actual healthcare and the need for it to be organized, maintained, and monitored on a regular basis. We have a tendency to defer that which is not readily apparent to us as being critical until it becomes critical. At that point, our ability to avoid the serious health issue ends. When we get to the "What do I do now?" moment of a healthcare diagnosis or event is when we discover that all of the healthcare insurance we have only deals with our well-being from a financial perspective. Health insurance really is a financial document intended to avoid adverse consequences to us financially by having the third party insurance company or our corporation’s self-insurance plan there to cover the expenses. Yet, at that same moment, we discover we are out there alone to make critical healthcare decisions without the expertise we have in other areas of our lives. Suddenly, we are required to make decisions on such questions as - Who is the best provider? Where is the best center of excellence? How do I access those facilities are decisions we are required to make? Our choice is to either find that expertise who can lead us through the healthcare maze or to seek to manage the process ourselves with the immense and necessary commitment to the time required.

 

 We at Curus recognized this void in the healthcare delivery process and developed our company and its processes and procedures to proactively assure that the "What do I do now" moment would be answered or even better avoided altogether. As we proactively assess and evaluate, we seek to avoid those critical decision points by providing the ultimate wellness program before there is an issue as well as if one occurs. As we gain an understanding of our members’ business pressures and lifestyles, we are able to provide input that will defer or avoid crisis situations. For our team at Curus, your wellness is the ultimate goal. 

 

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Note from CEO, Mark SchlusselMark-Schlussel-1

Wellness-  the theme of this month's article conjures up very different thoughts as we age. The seasons of life very much mirror the seasons of the year. As fall is upon us, it is a time to reflect on the value of good health and our need to invest the time, effort and discipline to maintain that good health. In each phase of our life, the choices we need to make to maintain our good health differ. At Curus, we believe that your concierge health coach should redefine wellness for each of our members depending upon the season of their life.

 

Filed Under: changes in healthcare, concierge healthcare, Health Management, healthcare coach, corporate wellness, corporate benefits, work-life balance

Life's Health Risks

by Mark E. Schlussel
I was reading an article on Medscape.com entitled "No Safe Limit: Even One Drink a Day Increases Risks." This article focuses on research being done that establishes alcohol consumption may substantially increase the risk of diseases like cancer, coronary artery disease, tuberculosis and obviously road injuries. The article states, "Alcohol has long been recognized as a leading risk factor for disease burden and has been linked to 60 acute and chronic diseasthe radom beeres via all multitude of mechanisms, both through cumulative consumption and acute intoxication." The article further states, "Studies have suggested that low-level alcohol consumption may [protect] against Ischemic heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. However, such findings have been challenged by recent analyses."
 
As I thought about the implications of the findings in this article, there was no question that alcohol consumption leads to terrible tragedies on our roadways daily. However, it was the other findings that were most intriguing as they brought to mind all of the continuing research advice we as laypeople get from the research component of our medical community about our eating habits and our lifestyles. To this day, I remain confused as to whether eating whole eggs or food prepared with whole eggs including the yolk are unhealthy or are now on the continuum of "not so bad for us". I feel the same about beef and the implication of the potential adverse health effects of interspersing meat in your diet. I wonder about my vitamin regimen - Is it helping me stay healthy or am I just enriching the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture the vitamins and minerals that I take. I would hate to think that I'm merely passing all of this cash through my kidneys.  
 
The truth is, during my lifetime,the advice given to us as healthcare consumers about what we should eat, what we should drink, how much exercise we should receive, how much sleep we need and generally what we should expect at each stage of our life is a set
Are all the foods bad?
of fluid criteria. We can find opinions and research on all sides of the various eating and lifestyle experiences. We can also do our own research and find that advice of 25 years ago which was subsequently determined to be misdirected, is now, once again, in vogue as reasonable behavior.
 
What do we learn from these changing analyses of our lifestyles? The fundamental take away from the changes in advice and direction is that moderation should be the cornerstone of our lifestyles. We all know that drinking too much leads to alcoholism. That is a distinct illness as a standalone. We do not need researchers to tell us of the profound health risks associated with being an alcoholic. Not only does it abuse the body of the alcoholic, but it puts at risk their immediate family from levels of abuse that are directly attributable to drunken behavior. Further it puts the public at risk when an alcoholic chooses to drive.
 
We all see the statistics on the health risks of obesity; yet in our society, food consumption has largely become a drive-through experience. The idea of a family dinner with its balance between fatty foods and healthy vegetables and fruits is largely a thing of the past.

When it comes to the vitamins, I still intend to take mine every morning whether it serves as a psychological palliative or it really helps. It feels much the same as my perception of chicken soup; which, for many decades, has been a remedy for all sorts of medical issues. It may help or it may not help, but it won't hurt you.   
 
As we head into Labor Day weekend, many of us will be thinking about how fast the summer has gone by. For each season of the year, our life balance changes. At Curus, this is a metaphor for the aging process. As we age, our health becomes a greater priority. When we are young, we have a sense of invincibility; and as we age, we recognize our growing limitations. Our company is committed to enhancing the quality of our members' lives as they experience the transitions through the seasons of life.   Check out what Curus has to offer

Filed Under: changes in healthcare, alchohol