Friday, October 12, 2018
Find out how your company can receive free tools, resources and technical assistance to help assess, plan and implement a workplace wellness plan custom-designed for your location. Check out for more information.
Celebrating Health
This month, we're celebrating health. We are discussing our mspWellness Champions, the MANOVA Summit and health literacy. Health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services
needed to make appropriate health decisions." If we want to create a healthy lifestyle and workplace, we must first understand what health is and how we can accomplish it.
mspWellness: Championing Healthy Worksites
At this inaugural breakfast, we celebrated the companies that have recently completed the first year of the mspWellness program. The program highlighted the changes these mspWellness Champions have made to their workplaces creating better health and wellness opportunities for their employees to inspire others to do the same.

Guest speaker Nichole Melton Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer at Allina Health | Aetna, shared best practices for employee engagement in wellness initiatives, how to implement them as well as potential outcomes. She offered that one of the definitions of wellness was the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. She said that a wellness program is considered an employee health program when it's reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease. Wellness programs help both employers and employees to make changes that help to not only improve overall health, but also to manage health risks, prevent future health issues, and increase safety and productivity. There are four steps to building and implementing an effective strategy; 1.) conducting a needs assesment, 2.) planning and goal identification, 3.) Implementation and participation, and 4.) results evaluation and strategy refinement. The outcomes of implementing a wellness plan are great. Many organizations have found that they help to reduce health care costs, decrease absenteeism and are sustainable once they have been established.

Congratulations to our 2018 champions The Big Know, Community Involvement Programs, Chowgirls Killer Catering, Damon Farber, East Side Neighborhood Services, Eastside Food Cooperative, FINNEGANS, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - MN Chapter, The Lynhall, Minneapolis Regional Chamber, Minnesota Gastroenterology, P.A. (MNGI), and Stonebridge Capital Advisors.
Employee Benefits: Promoting Health Literacy
You want your employees to become better health care consumers. To use preventative care measures, to choose urgent care over emergency room visits when appropriate, to consider the options when scheduling a test or procedure, to choose generic prescriptions when possible. Y ou want them to make more informed health decisions. But how can they do these things if they don’t understand basic health information and services? Check out this article to learn some tips on how to help your employees improve health literacy.
Low Health Literacy Costs U.S. Employers $5 Billion A Year
Health literacy has been a problem for years. An Accenture report found that consumers with low health literacy are “seven times more likely to use customer service support one to three times a week and three times more likely to use it one to three times a month than consumers with high healthcare system literacy are." Overall, the inability of U.S. consumers to navigate the healthcare system costs $4.8 billion annually in administrative expenses. Learn more from Forbes.
Featured Workplace Wellness Resources
Now enrolling the 2019 mspWellness cohort
Workplace wellness programs do not need to be complicated or expensive to work. Companies of all sizes can create healthier work
environments and support healthier behaviors amongst their employees.
The chamber, with support from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and the Minneapolis Health Department, would like to engage 10-15 employers that are motivated to build employee worksite wellness initiatives allowing employees access to healthy choices in the workplace for the 2019 cohort. Worksite will not only have access to technical assistance, but they will also have the benefit of a peer-to-peer network as part of the cohort. Sign up to be part of the cohort today !
What is health literacy?
The consequences of low health literacy are felt by everyone from employers to families. CHCS' Health Literacy fact sheet helps employers to better understand what health literacy is, why they should care and how they can begin to help improve health literacy in their employees.
Why health literacy is important
Problems with health literacy affect all people, but the elderly and chronically ill are most at-risk, and also have the greatest healthcare needs and expenses. People with low health literacy are overwhelmed by healthcare because their skills and abilities are challenged by the demands and complexity required. Efforts to improve quality, reduce disparities and reduce costs cannot succeed without improving health literacy. How will you help to improve health literacy?
Did You Know?

Knowing about diseases, such as cancer, that can affect your health is part of health literacy. When it comes to health, the earlier we can take care of ourselves the better. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and is the second leading cause of death among women. However, breast cancer doesn't just affect women, but men as well. October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Get the facts, learn the signs and get more information on how you can help.
This first-ever three-day Summit convened global thought leaders from business, technology, consumer marketing, academia and government from around the globe, nation and state in the heart of Minnesota’s vibrant Medical Alley.

Many conversations with subject matter experts explored health and wellness and how it relates to today as well as the future.

One session, a collaboration between MPR’s Conversations on the Creative Economy and Call to Mind, MPR’s Mental Health Initiative, focused on how high-tech entrepreneurs are reimagining how to provide mental health care and boost mental health and well being. Speakers went in-depth into why they invested in mental health, the science behind their business strategies and the barriers and opportunities they face in the mental health market.

Call To Mind is MPR’s mental health initiative to foster new conversations about mental health with the understanding that mental health is essential to well-being, for everyone. Details at: .
About mspWellness
mspWellness is the result of a partnership between the Minneapolis Regional Chamber (MRC) and the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD). MRC and MHD are working together to assist business members create healthier work environments.

This partnership is made possible by the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and Community Wellness Grant, funding that serves as a powerful catalyst for creating healthier communities. Through SHIP, the Minneapolis Health Department partners with schools, neighborhoods, worksites, and clinics to make sustainable community driven changes that help everyone eat healthy, be active, and live tobacco free.