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Announcing: Healthier Hampton Roads

Initiative Will Foster Economic Development By Addressing Health Literacy
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EdLogics, Old Dominion University and Global Action Platform proudly announce Healthier Hampton Roads, a community-wide initiative.

The initiative is a partnership focused on transforming the way people learn about health and designed to increase health literacy, workforce productivity, and economic prosperity throughout Hampton Roads.

Governor Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and former Governor of Wisconsin, and Chairman of EdLogics is helping make the call to action: “Healthier Hampton Roads will be a multi-stakeholder, integrated, community-based program that bridges the work site, home, and community,” he said. “It will connect all of Hampton Roads through an interactive digital health platform that provides a vehicle for increasing awareness, communication, education, engagement, and behavior change.”

“Improving health literacy is a key requirement for achieving behavior change, reducing healthcare costs, and improving health outcomes,” said Thomas M. Chamberlain, PharmD, founder and CEO of EdLogics. “Achieving behavior change at a community level requires people and organizations coming together through collaborative coalitions involving corporations, municipalities, non-profit organizations, health systems, universities, school systems, faith-based institutions, foundations, and philanthropists. Such collaboration is a key goal for Healthier Hampton Roads.”

“In today’s highly competitive global economy, health is a key economic driver,” said Scott T. Massey, PhD, chairman and CEO of Global Action Platform. “Healthy citizens are more productive, more creative, and provide a competitive advantage for any regional economy dedicated to growth and shared prosperity. Global Action Platform is working with EdLogics as a strategic partner to launch Healthier Hampton Roads and help build a new national model that can be created first here, replicated in our headquarters city of Nashville, and then shared nationally.”

More information is available in the official press release.

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Really Reduce Health Costs?

Do they really live up to the hype?
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Countless employers – an estimated 80% of large US employers – offer wellness programs for their employees. In fact, wellness programs are often touted as key employee benefits. The goals are simple: make employees healthier and health care costs will be reduced.

But new research questions if wellness programs actually do reduce health care costs. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on April 19 was jointly conducted by Harvard and the University of Chicago.

The researchers randomly offered different wellness programs at various work sites and then tracked the results. Specifically, they offered new wellness programs at randomly selected locations of BJ’s Wholesale Clubs. Those results were compared to existing programs at other locations to identify any changes in individual behavior as well as any changes in the corporate culture.

The results showed some demonstrated behavior changes but little effect on other outcomes.

Behavior Changes Recorded at Sites Offering Wellness Programs:

  • 8.3% higher rate of employees self-reporting engaging in regular exercise
  • 13.6% higher rate of employees self-reporting managing their weight

Outcomes Showing No Significant Impacts Included:

  • Self-reported quality of sleep
  • Job performance and absenteeism
  • 10 specific clinical health markers

Researchers noted that the field of studying wellness programs is still relatively new. Others have commented that 18 months might not be enough time to effectively measure the success/impact of wellness programs. Might it not take decades?

One of the coauthors of the study, Zirui Song, an assistant professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Institute, stated her summary.

“As we grow to understand how best to encourage healthy behavior, it may be that workplace wellness programs will play an important role in improving health and lowering the cost of health care,” Song said. “For now, however, we should remain cautious about our expectations from such interventions. Rigorous research to measure the effects of such programs can help make sure we’re spending society’s health and wellness dollars in the most effective way.”

One missing variable is the role that education plays. Would behavior change absent of an increase in health literacy even be sustainable? Conversely, if employees better understand their personal health – how to properly use an asthma inhaler, for example – would behavior change persist longer?

We’ll be fielding these questions to several health literacy experts so check back for their responses.

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

EdLogics Named Finalist in Validation Institute 2019 Health Value Awards

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EdLogics is a finalist in the Validation Institute’s 2019 Health Value Awards. Now in its second year, the annual award program celebrates organizations committed to the process of lowering healthcare costs and improving outcomes.

“We’re so excited to celebrate our award finalists. Participating in the Health Value Awards shows these healthcare companies and providers are not only committed to providing high-quality, value-based healthcare, but are ready to lead the industry in this new, exciting, and necessary direction,” said RD Whitney, CEO of Validation Institute.

“EdLogics provides one of the most advanced consumer health education and engagement platforms available,” says Thomas M. Chamberlain, PharmD, Founder and CEO of EdLogics. “Through interactive game-based learning, challenges, and unique incentive strategies, we are achieving high levels of engagement and significant improvement in users’ understanding of key health issues.”

EdLogics joins 84 other finalists across 34 healthcare categories. Winners will be announced April 28 at a reception in Washington, DC.

See the full list of finalists here.

The Validation Institute is a membership organization made up of a network of healthcare vendors, health benefits advisors, and purchaser benefit managers focused on delivering better health value and stronger outcomes than conventional healthcare.

 

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

Program Spotlight: Local Pain Medication Education Expands in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Health Literacy Offers Opioid Education Materials And Workshops
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The opioid crisis continues to be a national issue that is mostly fought at a local level. Education, prevention and treatment typically fall to the responsibility of schools, hospitals, municipalities and non-profit groups. Prescription pain medicines are highly addictive and the epidemic is affecting people in every slice of society – from teens to suburban housewives.

To help combat the crisis in the state of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Health Literacy developed “Let’s Talk About Pain Medicines”. This one-hour workshop (and accompanying materials) helps inform people how to safely use prescription pain medications and how to spot addiction.

The program was developed at an average literacy level and the materials are available in both English and Spanish.

By partnering with community groups Wisconsin Health Literacy is expanding its reach and making the program available on a state-wide basis. The education covers various pain medication topics and questions such as where and how to safely store the medications, how to safely dispose of unused medications and how to best discuss sensitive pain medication questions with your doctor.

The materials also cover basic medication label literacy – what do the precautions mean and how to understand dosage information.

The easy-to-follow materials allow for the program to be replicated and distributed quickly and efficiently. To date, the in-person program has been delivered to Wisconsin residents dozens of times.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact Wisconsin Health Literacy at healthliteracy@wisconsinliteracy.org. Downloadable materials can be found here.

 

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Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes. 

Higher Health Literacy Leads to Healthier Cities

EdLogics and Global Action Platform Partner to Pilot "Empower Community Health"
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EdLogics and Global Action Platform recently hosted a conference focused on the economic benefits of improving health literacy in communities. The event, held November 5 in Norfolk, Virginia, highlighted the specific needs and benefits to the Hampton Roads and Nashville areas.

EdLogicsFounder and CEO Thomas M. Chamberlain, PharmD, opened the event by sharing the economic impact of low health literacy. “Low health literacy is a multibillion-dollar problem,” he said. “Patients with low health literacy are more likely to visit an emergency room, less likely to follow a doctor’s instructions, and have higher mortality rates.”

Low Health Literacy By The Numbers:

  • Patients forget up to 80% of what their doctor told them before they reach the parking lot.
  • Close to 40% of Americans suffer from one or more chronic conditions, accounting for over 85% of the total US health costs.
  • Over 90 million Americans are at risk for preventable health issues because they have difficulty understanding health information.
  • On average, healthcare costs for a low literacy patient are $8,000 higher per year.
  • One in three Americans can’t follow the instructions on a drug label.

To address this crisis, Global Action Platform and EdLogics are creating Empower Community Health, an initiative utilizing technology to improve health literacy. This platform, through which communities can connect health and prosperity, will in turn create a competitive economic advantage for their regions in the ongoing competition for investments, talent and markets.

The goal is simple: To increase both the health and prosperity of communities.

The EdLogics Platform will serve as the technological backbone of Empower Community Health. The Platform features:

  • Game-based learning
  • Rewards for progress
  • Rich, user-friendly content covering a broad range of health topics, from chronic conditions to preventive health to navigating the healthcare system

“The Platform is proven, easy-to-use, and can be accessed on desktop and mobile devices, making it readily accessible to anyone with access to the internet,” added presenter James Spore, President and CEO of Reinvent Hampton Roads.

Through Empower Community Health, the EdLogics Platform will be available to the citizens of Hampton Roads and Nashville, including underserved populations, the public school system,  and university students. EdLogics and Global Action Platform will work with schools, libraries, community health clinics, churches, YMCAs and other civic organizations to provide access.

The comprehensive community implementation has many innovative and important features, including:

  • Advanced data analytics
  • Multi-sector/community implementation
  • National expert review

At the community level, Global Action Platform will provide regional program managers to work with sponsors, community organizations, and other stakeholders to leverage local resources, networks, and existing programs to drive awareness. Local universities will serve as strategic outreach partners and provide academic research expertise.

Check back for more details and launch dates.

 

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Subscribe now. Know when we publish our latest articles on health literacy, gamification, and healthcare.

Jerry Gulley currently serves as EdLogics’ Chief Content Officer. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has held positions with Cooking Light, Health, and AllRecipes.