UAB making wellness expertise available to any company

World-renowned experts in health and wellness topics will come together Nov. 14-15 to help employers fashion their own programs targeting employee health.

The concept of wellness — actively seeking good health — is not a new one, though its appearance in workplaces around the United States is just now ramping up.

wellness_conference_sLarger corporations like Exxon Mobil and Wal-Mart have incorporated employee wellness programs in recent years, and as the waistlines of Americans expand, more companies are seeing the need for a focus on employee health.

On Nov. 14 and 15, 2012, experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will be available to provide scientific, technical and business perspectives on applying wellness in the workplace at the Innovations in Wellness Conference.

UAB’s own wellness efforts have brought many benefits, says Alesia Jones, UAB Chief Human Resources Officer. “We have seen a shift in the culture of our organization since we implemented a strategic wellness program and it’s a shift that our faculty and staff wanted to see,” she says.

Jones explains that employees are making healthier choices in the cafeterias, getting active on walking paths and becoming more invested in their own health through a blood pressure- and weight-tracking program.

“All of our own employee resources have come together to build bridges between their areas of expertise to establish a solid foundation for our employee wellness program so that the services and initiatives we offer are grounded in research and behavioral science,” Jones says.

Innovations in Wellness Conference
Nov. 14-15, 2012
UAB Alumni House
Event agenda and registration

“Our people matter, therefore our organization is committed to providing them with ways to make healthy lifestyles a reality, and now the Innovations in Wellness Conference will give others the chance to make the same impact,” Jones adds.

Implementing an employee health program is possible with or without an experienced program planner, says Lauren Whitt, Ph.D., UAB Wellness coordinator. But Whitt says there are many facets of wellness that need to be covered in order to achieve the benefits of a successful employee health program; these topics and more will be covered at the conference.

Primary care, heart health, diabetes management, genetics, breast cancer prevention, nutrition and tobacco cessation will be addressed. Some of the dynamic speakers will include American Heart Association president Donna Arnett, Ph.D., chair of the UAB Department of Epidemiology; Tim Townes, Ph.D., chair of the UAB Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics; and Helen Krontiras, M.D., UAB breast surgeon and co-director of the UAB Breast Health Center.

“Whether you’re still thinking about starting a wellness program or managing a comprehensive health management program, this conference will provide advice from seasoned human resources, benefits and wellness leaders, as well as innovative insights from physicians, researchers, practitioners and educators, that you can incorporate into your corporate wellness initiatives,” Whitt says.

“Health care and preventive measures have become a hot topic in today’s discussions around benefits and the upcoming election,” Whitt adds, noting that developing a better understanding of these measures through the conference can benefit aspiring or current wellness leaders as well as the employees in their care.

The Innovations in Wellness Conference will take place Nov. 14-15 at the UAB Alumni House, 1301 10th Ave. South. A full event agenda and registration is available now online. Space will be limited as business and medical professionals working in health, wellness, exercise, human resources, healthcare administration, education and related fields will be welcomed, so please register as soon as possible.

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