Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Metabolic Syndrome Screening Benefits Employee and Employer


By Craig Cooper, Genesis Health System

The same employee wellness program that saved Genesis Health System and its employees nearly $65 million since 2007 will be offered to a select number of people in the region at no cost.

Genesis has experienced a dramatic decrease in Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) among employees from 26 percent in the fall of 2008 to 15 percent based on the results of its fall 2013 screening. MetS is a clustering of risk factors known to be precursors to costly medical conditions such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

MetS is indicated through a bio-metric screening when three or more of five identified risk factors are present. The five risk factors are:
• A waist measurement greater than or equal to 40” for men (35” for women)

  • Blood pressure greater than or 130/85
  • Triglycerides greater than or equal to 150
  • Fasting glucose greater than or equal to 100
  • HDL cholesterol less than 50 (40 for women).

Naturally Slim, a clinical wellness program (CWP), aims toward lasting weight loss with the added benefit of reducing risk factors of MetS. Based in Dallas, Texas and founded in 1977, Naturally Slim, Inc. has improved hundreds of Genesis Health System employees’ MetS risk factors while helping stabilize health insurance costs through their use of the program.

Based on the success of employee screening results, Genesis Philanthropy has announced it will provide the Naturally Slim program, including screenings for metabolic syndrome, to a minimum of 75 area people at no cost, for the next five years. Participants will receive screenings to evaluate their risk of metabolic syndrome. If participants are found to be at risk of metabolic syndrome, they will be able to participate in the 10-week Naturally Slim program by accessing a web site. The value of each scholarship is $500.

“Genesis Philanthropy continues to search for opportunities to improve the health of the communities served by Genesis Health System,’’ said Missy Gowey, Executive Director, Genesis Philanthropy. “From our years of experience with the Naturally Slim program, we know the program can have a positive, significant impact on the health of participants.’’

Former University of Iowa and National Football League quarterback Chuck Long will be lending his name to the Genesis Philanthropy MetS Initiative.

“It’s an effective tool, but it is also very educational and fun for participants,’’ said Tom Culliton, Director of workplace services, Genesis Health System. “Not only has Genesis had a high success rate using Naturally Slim, other area employers and their employees have had similar successes.’’

Anyone interested in participating in the pilot program can register at www.genesisphilanthropy.org/regional-initiatives/mets. Scholarships will be based on clinical and financial need.

Genesis Philanthropy leverages the power of philanthropy throughout our region to take the next step in the health care revolution, moving from caring for sick people to improving the health and wellness of the community. Philanthropists, foundations, and corporations are catalysts in this quest via their investment in Genesis Philanthropy, which is devoted entirely to population health initiatives.

The first gift to Genesis Philanthropy, $1 million, established the Gene and JoAnn Waddell Regional Fund for Hospice and Cancer Care. A portion of this significant gift is providing free lung cancer low dose CT screenings throughout the region.

To learn more about the regional impact of a charitable investment in Genesis Philanthropy, contact Missy Gowey, Executive Director, 563-421-6872.

Photo Credit: AndreyPopov/Thinkstock