Community Magazine Charities - Spring 2017

Fit For A Liver

2017-03-03 01:28:28

Local division of the American Liver Foundation will offer affordable wellness programs The American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Division, the nation’s largest patient advocacy organization for people with liver disease, has announced the launch of workplace wellness campaign Get Fit. Initially available in the Chicago area, Get Fit is a comprehensive employee wellness platform that provides high-quality, educational resources and activities to promote general health, wellness and employee engagement. “Many companies want to adopt a wellness program, but are discouraged by cost and other barriers,” says Jacqueline Dominguez, executive director of the ALF Great Lakes Division. “Get Fit was created to address these limitations and provide companies, both large and small, an affordable way to engage with their employees and provide important health information and resources.” Across the country, the number of organizations initiating wellness programs has risen, with many employers seeing the tangible impact the programs make through a reduction in overall healthcare costs. In 2015, as many as two-thirds of companies reported offering a wellness program. What sets Get Fit apart is that, for the first time in the Chicago area, a nonprofit organization is solely responsible for the development and implementation of a workplace wellness program with the goal of ensuring high quality and impactful wellness programing is accessible to companies of all sizes. ALF is targeting small to mid-sized companies in particular. This group has a significant number of employees, but only 39% of employers with 50-100 employees offer wellness programming. That number likely declines the smaller the workplace. The Get Fit platform features 12 months of programming on a wide range of important topics such as mental health, nutrition, disease management, mindfulness and financial literacy. Participating companies have access to customized, on-demand live education via wellness webinars, on-site workplace education and symposiums. When an employee enrolls in the program, he or she will complete a health assessment questionnaire to calculate an individual health score and interest in participating in preventative health screenings. The metrics collected from these baseline assessments are vital to employers to help demonstrate and maximize the positive impact of the program on the employee population at key points throughout the program. Additional resources include: Access to health screenings Sharable content such as posters, workplace memos and monthly newsletters Discounts with select wellness-orientated vendors “Many people may not know that the liver plays a vital role in nearly every bodily function, and many diseases and health conditions are closely tied to liver health,” Dominguez says. “Through Get Fit, it is imperative to help spread awareness and promote education to our community that liver health is all health. I am proud of the quality programming and local health experts our team has curated to develop the Get Fit platform. The response from partner employees and employers has been outstanding, and we look forward to reaching more interested workplaces in the coming months.” The Get Fit campaign is currently serving more than 1,000 employees from more than 500 workplaces, such as We Work Kinzie, across Chicago. THE AMERICAN LIVER FOUNDATION Founded in 1976, the American Liver Foundation is the nation’s largest patient advocacy organization for people with liver disease. ALF reaches more than 2 million individuals each year with health information, education and support services via its national office, 16 U.S. divisions and active online presence. Recognized as a trusted voice for liver disease patients, ALF also operates a national toll-free helpline at 1-800-GO-LIVER; educates patients, policymakers and the public; and provides grants to early-career researchers to help find a cure for all liver diseases. ALF is celebrating 40 years of turning patients into survivors. For more information about ALF, please visit LiverFoundation.org.

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