A client of ours at HealthFitness, the University of Louisville, is an example of well-doing in action. Realizing that health is more than simply the absence of disease, UofL adopted a view of health with a whole-person orientation.
UofL actively works to create a culture of health through its “Get Healthy Now” program, which started in 2005. With a 74 percent participation rate, the program is working to engage participants in healthy programming and activities including:
Health coaching for all participants, regardless of whether they are at low, medium or high risk
Bike share, team biking initiatives and a bicycle commuting group (University President Ramsey bikes to work on occasion)
Caregiving workshops (including legal, financial and social)
Smoke-free campus and free smoking cessation classes
Mindfulness, yoga and relaxation classes through the wellness center
Community partnership with the American Heart Association for support groups, and disease management partnerships with the Greater Louisville YMCA and the University of Louisville Hospital
A 2012–13 return on investment analysis for the “Get Healthy Now” program found the university's initiative returned a benefit cost ratio of 7.16 to 1 after four years. Program participants saw an average claims savings of $1,300; an estimated $4.3 million in reduced claims spending.
In 2013, the UofL used the cost savings to fund a “living wage” goal that increased the minimum salary for employees to $11 per hour—sharing in the wealth of good health and supporting financial well-being for a segment of their workforce.
A veteran of health education and health management product development, Tanja Madsen is director of product management for HealthFitness.