Pathways to Business Health

Yesterday, I spoke at the Pathways to Business Health symposium, held at the Royal Mayfair G&C Club here in Edmonton. The audience consisted of folks from human resources, private payers, and large employers – the general theme of the symposium was: Connecting health, performance and the bottom line.

Jen Whetherow, MPA, Director of the Great Place to Work Insitute, Canada, the folks who assemble the lists of the best employers to work for, talked on the five dimensions of employee satisfaction: credibility, respect, pride and camaraderie.

Chris Bonnett, MHSc, President, H3 Consulting and Editor of Business Health talked about the results of the 2008 Sanofi-Aventis Healthcare Survey, which explores the attitudes, knowledge and preferences of health plan members regarding disease prevention.

I, of course, talked about how obesity is one of the root causes of most chronic diseases and that we are not about to see an end to the increase in obesity-related health costs, because we devote virtually no resources to actually treating obesity – health professionals have little training or incentives to deliver obesity treatments, prescription drugs for obesity are still not covered by most plans, availability of obesity surgery remains several orders of magnitude below the actual demand.

Overall, a most interesting event – good for me to hear the employer and payer perspectives.

Edmonton, Alberta