Healthy Rowan Prevention Academy seeks to reduce health-care costs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 25, 2012

SALISBURY — A new health initiative in Rowan County should help 14 Rowan businesses build healthier workplaces and reduce healthcare costs from preventable disease.
Rowan Regional Medical Center and the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce have brought the N.C. Prevention Partners’ Prevention Academy to Rowan County, with support from Novo Nordisk and in collaboration with the Rowan County Health Department.
The Healthy Rowan Prevention Academy was held Wednesday at the chamber. Health experts across the state, including past academy participants, shared insight and strategies on creating a culture of wellness in the workplace.
Local physicians and leaders in health care, business and government attended to lend their support.
Dari Caldwell, Rowan Regional Medical Center president, said the hospital was excited to partner with other stakeholders to bring the academy to Rowan County.
“With the changes and challenges in today’s healthcare landscape, we feel it’s critical to find innovative ways improve health, promote wellness and reduce healthcare costs,” Caldwell said. “Addressing health and wellness in the workplace is one way we feel we can spur change and encourage healthy attitudes that will carry on from the workplace out to the entire community.”
N.C. Prevention Partners’ signature product, Work Healthy America, helps businesses promote wellness and cut healthcare costs by making environmental changes.
Work Healthy America assesses current wellness practices at a business and delivers tailored information on improving these practices. Businesses also receive consistent feedback on their wellness progress.
“Prevention and wellness initiatives are critical cost-saving measures for our businesses and help to make Rowan County a competitive and attractive place for businesses to thrive,” said Bob Wright, chamber president.
Amy Smith, Health Department health education specialist and wellness coordinator, said the Healthy Rowan Prevention Academy supports the community-wide effort to make Rowan County a healthier place to live and work.
“I’m excited to watch each of our local businesses progress over the next three years and see the impact it has on our entire community,” Smith said.
The business group will reconvene in August 2013 to track progress and add new members.
“Healthy Rowan is showing extraordinary commitment to wellness, and we hope the 14 businesses are just the beginning of transforming the whole community and making healthy the easy norm,” said Meg Molloy, CEO of N.C. Prevention Partners.
Members of the Healthy Rowan Prevention Academy planning committee included Rowan Regional Medical Center, the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Novo Nordisk, the Rowan County Health Department and Rowan County government.
The Healthy Rowan Prevention Academy is the seventh community Prevention Academy led by N.C. Prevention Partners. Previous academies were held in Greensboro, Charlotte, Burlington, Asheville, Kannapolis and Raleigh.
Healthy Rowan Prevention Academy

Food Lion
Henkle Corp.
Rowan-Salisbury Schools
Rowan Regional Medical Center
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
City of Salisbury
Rowan County Government
Catawba College
Livingstone College
Piedmont Cheerwine Bottling Co.
F&M Bank
PowerCurbers Inc.
YMCA of Rowan County
Partners in Learning