On Thursday, December 3rd, James J. Moore, UnitedHealthcare Executive and Education Foundation of Palm Beach County (EFPBC) Board member, joined Carlye Fabrikant with the SDPBC Wellness Taskforce to award the inaugural Monthly Prize for Wellness Excellence to Dr. McKnight, Principal and her team at West Rivera Elementary.
Wellness! We hear that term a lot these days. At UnitedHealthcare, wellness is not just good business…or the right thing to do. UnitedHealthcare has a passion for wellness. As the provider of health insurance for the School District, UHC is thoroughly committed to bringing wellness to each of the district’s 25,000+ employees and their family members. They offer programs in weight loss, diabetes prevention, stress management and financial literacy just to name a few and encourage each employee to take even a small step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Our School District is equally committed to the wellness of its employees. Under the direction of Carlye Fabrikant and her team, a Wellness Champion is appointed at each school and district department and/or location. The Wellness Champions are employees who volunteer to be the wellness representative for their school or location. These Wellness Champions encourage their fellow employees to make even a small change in their lifestyle…something as simple as getting a physical or eye exam…cutting back on sweets, taking a walk every night…or trying to stop smoking.
Each month this year, one of the SDPBC’s Wellness Champions will be recognized by the District and UnitedHealthcare for their creative efforts to bring wellness to the employees at their respective school. With funding from a grant from UHC, the winning Wellness Champion and their school will receive a special delivery of school supplies from the Education Foundation’s Red Apple Supplies!
Jim Moore, UHC Executive and EFPBC Board member comments: “With an annual health care spend of $150 million dollars, the health of the employees is important from both a staffing and financial perspective. Having 2 children in middle and high school myself…and being married to a public school teacher, I’m well aware of the decrease in their learning when a teacher is out due to an illness. Additionally, members who work to add healthy lifestyle changes into their routines tend to lower their medical costs for they have less hospitalizations, use less medication and have fewer complex medical conditions.”
Moore explains: “Through a combination of the Wellness Champions’ efforts in their schools and locations, the District Wellness Team’s events and Health Rewards Program, and UnitedHealthcare’s various member programs, The School District of Palm Beach County had a decrease in spending of 1.3% for 2019. This equates to a savings in real dollars of about $2,000,000. The efforts of our School District’s Wellness Champions have resulted in a savings of roughly 5% when compared to other school districts…in real dollars, we are talking about nearly $7,500,000! These are real dollars which could be spent on instructional materials for the children and staff salaries instead of health care.”
Teamwork…collaboration…and a serious commitment to wellness. UnitedHealthcare and the School District of Palm Beach County are making sure that every employee has the opportunity and the tools to improve their health by taking steps (small or large!). And for those Wellness Champions whose innovative approaches are bearing fruit…a special delivery of school supplies from the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.