Executive Wellness: Good for Business

by Dr. Matthew J. McMillin
Unity Point Clinic

It simply makes sense for companies to protect their top talent.

In today’s business environment, a priority for all companies is to protect and support their most vital asset: their employees. A range of worksite wellness programs have been successfully designed and implemented to assist with this task for employers of all sizes.

A basic requirement for the success of any effective worksite wellness program is the support and buy-in from the owners, executives and leaders who set the direction for the rest of the organization. Senior leadership makes decisions daily that carry significant consequences for employees, customers, stakeholders and the bottom line.

The Health of Leadership
Inherent to their position, business leaders carry demanding schedules, long hours and broad-reaching responsibilities. The executive lifestyle is filled with pitfalls that can lead to chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. In addition, it is typically the owners and leaders—those who personally invest the considerable time and resources necessary to start, run and grow a business—who absorb the largest amount of stress.

Often, a singular focus on the needs of the business can eclipse an individual’s attention away from personal health needs. These business leaders are at increased risk for developing unseen health-related conditions, many of which could be easily addressed and corrected, which may ultimately prohibit them from performing at the peak level required of their position.

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity continue to top the list of health crises in the United States. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as poor diet and lack of exercise contribute heavily to the rise of these chronic diseases. The steady increase in chronic disease contributes significantly to the rising cost of healthcare, prompting companies to take a serious look at the health and well-being of their workforce. The rigors and stress inherent to the business environment, particularly among executives and leaders, is forcing many employers to focus on investing in the health of their leadership teams.

The economic impact of chronic disease goes well beyond the cost of providing medical care; it takes an even greater toll on productivity, in the form of sick days and reduced performance. The good news is that chronic diseases, though among the most common health problems, are also the most preventable. Worksite wellness programs are ideally positioned to help all employees recognize and address the most common health-related risk factors. Adopting healthy behaviors like a proper diet, increased physical activity, adequate sleep, the avoidance of tobacco and excessive alcohol use, and routine health screenings can prevent or control many of the detrimental effects of these diseases.

Not Just a Physical
A well-designed executive health program provides comprehensive, efficient, effective and individualized patient-oriented care at a reasonable cost. The UnityPoint Clinic Executive Wellness Program is affiliated with MDVIP, the nation’s leading provider of personalized healthcare services, which has created a first-class, customized executive health program that was recognized by Worth magazine as one of the top 10 executive health programs in the country.

The UnityPoint Clinic MDVIP Executive Wellness program offers busy executives the opportunity to receive a thorough, annual assessment in a short period of time, at one comfortable and convenient location. The exam takes two to three hours, allowing executives to receive a comprehensive screening in one morning, rather than making multiple shorter appointments and trips out of the office.

Participants fill out a health risk assessment in advance and undergo a thorough evaluation, including an EKG, pulmonary function test, body composition analysis, vascular screening, vision and hearing screening, physical examination and an extensive lab panel. The results are discussed at length with the participant, along with recommendations for care and the development of a comprehensive wellness plan.

This program is unique in that it is offered to executives as a continuous, year-round care model. In place of an isolated physical, participants receive not only the extensive wellness examination, but also a customized wellness plan and 365 days of personalized care through the UnityPoint Clinic MDVIP office. They also receive the benefits of a practice with a smaller patient panel, allowing more time for individual attention. This includes same- or next-day acute care appointments, a personalized website with resources to support healthy living, access to their medical records, and physician availability by phone or email, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When traveling away from home, executive members can access urgent care services throughout the United States from the nearest MDVIP-affiliated physician. If needed, they receive expedited referral and coordination of care with specialists at 15 of the country’s top medical centers, such as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic, through MDVIP’s Medical Centers of Excellence program.

The Business Case
An annual executive wellness examination offers an opportunity for busy individuals to receive a comprehensive, preventive medical evaluation and coaching advice to identify health-related risk factors and promote a healthy diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors. Equally important, it provides for an ongoing relationship with a physician they can trust to identify, coordinate and manage any issues that may arise.

It simply makes sense for companies to protect their top talent. With a focus on prevention, the UnityPoint Clinic MDVIP Executive Wellness Program strives to accommodate busy executive schedules while supporting the company by promoting the long-term wellness of its leaders. iBi

Matthew J. McMillin, MD, FAAFP, ABFM is the lead provider for the UnityPoint Clinic MDVIP Executive Wellness Program. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (309) 672-4470.

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