Employers and the Heart of New Ulm:A 2009 Update Jeff VanWormer Epidemiologist Project Director
Quick Refresher of HONU Objectives • HONU is a demonstration project designed to apply evidence-informed practices that can improve the heart health of an entire community. It is primarily a systems-level intervention designed to synchronize and bolster existing health improvement efforts/resources within New Ulm. • The overarching goal of the Heart of New Ulm (HONU) project is to reduce heart attacks in the 56073 zip code. To achieve this, the HONU project aims to improve modifiable risk factors for heart attacks (across the entire community), including: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, physical inactivity, low fruit/vegetable consumption, uncontrolled stress, medication underutilization/non-adherence • The population of interest includes residents of the 56073 zip code, but the overarching goal is to create a partnership model that can be transferred to other communities in order to improve how preventive healthcare is delivered in the U.S.
2009 Accomplishments with Employers (to date) • Conducted a heart health screening at 36 New Ulm worksites, including 19 of the 25 largest employers in the community. • Screened over 2,600 actual employees (who live in the 56073 zip code), with a range in participation between 10 and 90 percent at each site. • Enrolled about 2,000 employees in the Move to Improve community challenge program • Directly engaged the leadership of 15% of all screened worksites in wellness committee planning or offering an onsite wellness program.
Heart attacks among New Ulm’s workforce(i.e., about 9,000 residents age 18-69)
Risk factors among New Ulm’s workforce(i.e., ~2,600 screened employees)
Productivity loss among New Ulm’s workforce The average New Ulm employee loses about 5% of their scheduled work hours due to health-related absenteeism and presenteeism (combined). That’s equivalent to about $2,500 per employee per year. • The most influential factors on productivity loss were stress and metabolic syndrome. Productivity losses from employees with high stress and/or with metabolic syndrome are 2-3 times higher than employees without such conditions.
Main 2010 Employer Initiatives • HONU Community Challenge program for employees • Customized wellness consulting, including: • Onsite promotions/programming • Environment/policy assessments • Employee health reporting • Benefits design advice
We still need your help! …… • Recruit your employees to take part in the upcoming HONU Community Challenge program • Start (or strengthen) an employee wellness program at your worksite. Contact the HONU office at 233-1945 to find out how. • Help support the project through a philanthropic gift. Contact Carisa Buegler at the NUMC Foundation to learn about options (email@example.com; 507-233-1188).