At The Stasko Agency, we believe in living a healthy lifestyle, so working to promote the Colorado Culture of Health Conference is one of our favorite projects every year. The conference, which is presented by the Colorado Business Group on Health (CBGH) and a range of partners, provides a wealth of resources for employers on how to wellness initiatives. 

This year’s conference featured several prominent experts on wellness, including Steve Bangert, CEO of CoBiz Financial, which has been lauded for its efforts to build a healthier workforce. At CoBiz employees can take Weight Watchers classes on-site and get a day off to get their annual physical exams. The company also underwrites the cost of Fitbits and provides interest-free loans to help workers finance fitness equipment.

At the Culture of Health Conference, exhibitors handed out fruit instead of candy

More than 500 attendees (a record number for the event) turned out to hear Bangert and other wellness leaders at this year’s conference, which also included exhibits, break-out sessions and even a mini-Zumba session. We enjoyed learning more about how wellness programs can boost employee productivity, reduce health care costs and improve the health of workers.

Mile High Fitness Instructor Kim Farmer got the crowd on its feet

To get the word out about this year’s conference, we placed contributions from CBGH Executive Director Donna Marshall in ColoradoBiz magazine and Health News Colorado. The Denver Business Journal also interviewed panelist Karen Curran of Pinnacol Assurance, about a study the company is conducting that is showing that wellness can significantly reduce health risks. You can read the article here.
In addition to the Culture of Health conference, the CBGH hosts meetings every month to offer information on programs that help add value to the health care system. For more information visit the organization’s website.

Health and wellness…it’s not just for athletes anymore.  
The 6th Annual Colorado Culture of Health Conference kicks off April 10th.

As part of a definition, health and wellness isn’t just about doing group exercises in the company parking lot before getting to work.  It covers a wide range of health from physical to mental.  Companies across the U.S. have been instituting employee health and wellness programs for years, offering incentives for employees that reach certain health benchmarks, providing on site mental health help and even participating in fitness group activities.
But the question being asked today is “how effective are employee health and wellness programs?”  With the recent passing of the health care reform bill, businesses above a certain size are required to provide health and wellness programs to their employees.  
In a recent survey by the Mountain States Employers Council, 51 percent of Colorado employers said they provide wellness programs for their employees.  However, sixty-one percent of that same survey group said they weren’t sure if wellness programs actually reduced workers’ health care costs.
In anticipation of the sixth annual Colorado Culture of Health Conference, on April 10, 2013 at the Denver Convention Center, national and local health policy leaders are holding a call-in press conference to discuss the impact of wellness programs, particularly among small businesses.
Preventative care is at the root of employee wellness programs as the theory is that ultimately, these programs will help reduce workers’ health care costs and lower workers compensation claims.  However it’s still not clear cut that these programs are actually lowering costs, particularly since businesses have to spend money to implement many of the programs required.
During the call-in press conference as well as during the conference itself, attendees will have an opportunity to learn about how wellness programs are helping employees and the businesses both in productivity and financially.  
Conference topics will include discussions regarding:

·         Worksite wellness trends and the factors influencing the health status of our state;

·         New tools and strategies to increase participation in wellness programs;

·         Data on the types of benefits and wellness programs Colorado employers offer

·         How a healthy workforce can improve a business’ bottom line;

·         How to gather and use data to quantify the success of a worksite wellness program;

·         Effective strategies that can be implemented in all sizes of worksites;

·         Evidence based research, in innovative case studies, and programs to address        

          diverse worksites.

Conference attendees will have a chance to join discussions and listen to experts on topics such as engaging employees to lose weight and stop smoking, caring for employees with diabetes, a 2013 legal update on wellness programs, dealing with depressed workers, creating a positive wellness environment within a company and many others.
For more information on the conference, or to buy tickets to the conference, go to the Colorado Culture of Health website or call 303.922.0939 to register today.  
If you own a small business, you can’t afford to miss this conference.  Health and Wellness programs are a fact you have to deal with and how you implement and operate your program could have a major impact on how your business grows.  Get the facts on these programs now and help your business and employees stay happy, healthy and well.