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Aegis Health Group Revealed Next Generation of Employer-Based Health-Improvement Strategies at Nashville Conference
Date:6/26/2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- "The only way to flatten the trajectory of healthcare spending is to fight disease" was the overriding sentiment at last week's I3 (insight, innovation and impact) Conference sponsored by Aegis Health Group. This statement made by keynote speaker Wally Gomaa, president of Trajectory Health, effectively summed up the reason that hospitals and employers must begin (or continue) working together to positively impact the health and lifestyle choices of Americans.

During his presentation, Gomaa pointed out that the United States is the ninth fattest country in the world, but has the second highest expenditures on healthcare. This can be largely attributed to metabolic syndrome, a compilation of risk factors that put people at significantly greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and other life-threatening diseases. The risks for metabolic syndrome can easily be detected and addressed through lifestyle changes and other medical therapies. Risks include elevated fasting glucose, high blood pressure, waist circumference, decreased HDL ("good" cholesterol) and elevated triglycerides.

"We simply cannot turn our backs on our responsibility as healthcare leaders to help people take charge of their health before they end up in the hospital, which must include a combination of risk awareness, education, intervention and personal support," said Henry Ross, CEO of Aegis Health Group. "Hospitals are perfectly positioned to take the lead in their communities by providing employers and employees with the tools they need to promote better health."

At a time when healthcare costs are one of the single biggest expenses many employers face, partnering with the local hospital has been shown in markets across the nation to save employers meaningful dollars in employee health costs, absenteeism, healthcare premiums, workers' compensation and other healthcare-related expenditures.

Hospitals from throughout the U.S. shared their programs for and success stories from partnering with employers in their markets to improve the health of the workforce. Vermeer Corporation, an agricultural equipment manufacturer in Pella, Iowa, for example, began partnering with Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines two years ago. Through the screenings and other wellness initiatives offered by the hospital, many of Vermeer's 2,200 employees have improved their habits and discovered health risks that previously had gone undetected.

"Our workforce is predominantly men who often don't tend to their health as well as they should," said Julie Tabatabai, Vermeer's wellness director. "Our partnership with Mercy Medical Center has enabled us to identify some of the greatest health risks among our workers and provide the appropriate resources to help mitigate those risks."

About Aegis Health Group

For nearly 20 years Aegis has helped hospitals across the country form lasting relationships with area employers while improving the health of the workforce. Aegis' program can currently be found in more than 60 healthcare organizations and 4,000 employer sites across the country. No other company has been able to match Aegis' breadth of services, track record and bottom-line proven performance when it comes to building relationships between hospitals and area employers. Further information may be obtained at http://www.aegisgroup.com.


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SOURCE Aegis Health Group
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