Atlanta, Ready to Talk Business
How do you ignite change? How about a call to action – which is exactly what happened in Atlanta on September 15, 2016. Over 150 Morehouse School of Medicine students picked up their pens to sign their names to the Health Means Business pledge.
Led by School of Medicine President Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, the School’s sixth and its first female president, students pledged to “help individuals, businesses, and their community partners, lead the movement for community wellness.” By signing this pledge, they joined a national network of community leaders ready to take charge in the fight to create healthier and happier communities.
This all happened as a result of the Georgia Health Means Business Forum at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the George Chamber of Commerce hosted the ninth forum in a national series as part of the Health Means Business campaign to promote better health through economic opportunity. The forum tackled issues ranging from health inequity to simple, cost-efficient strategies that businesses could adopt to improve the health of their employees. Dr. Montgomery Rice was the forum’s keynote.
The overarching point? Local businesses and community leaders have a huge stake in promoting health and wellness in their workforce and community.
Here’s the deal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): employees who miss work cost employers $225.8 billion each year. In addition, full-time workers who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health problems miss about 450 million more days of work each year than healthy workers, costing an estimated $153 billion in lost productivity each year.
That’s a lot of lost productivity, lost revenue, and lost business.
However, if businesses and community leaders can lead the charge and make wellness a top priority for the workforce and the community, that can mean real business for the state of Georgia and the nation as a whole.
The message was further amplified by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who showed his support of the movement by proclaiming September 15, 2016 “Health Means Business Day” in Georgia. In his proclamation he stated that, “In order to remain a prosperous state for business, Georgia businesses must continue to work towards creating a culture of health in the workplace.”
Now with the support of a future class of medical practitioners, Governor Deal, and one of the top ten largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., the Health Means Business movement shows no signs of slowing down.
So, if you’re on board and ready to talk shop, sign the Health Means Business pledge now!