The nonprofit Prevention Partners builds healthier places through a suite of products that guide schools, workplaces, hospitals and clinics to address the leading causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, obesity, and stress.
More than 70% of preventable early death and disease is due to tobacco use, poor diet, and physical inactivity.
More than a third of American adults are obese.
20% of all Americans use tobacco. Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and death.
The cost of getting it wrong: In North Carolina alone, the costs of tobacco use, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and obesity add up to $5,711 per employee in lost work time and health care treatment. Prevention means better health and productivity with reduced costs for health care and prescription medicines.
Because we spend the majority of our waking time at work, in school, and receiving health care, these places and their culture have a large influence on our habits and behaviors. It’s easier to take the steps we know we should — quit smoking, change our diet, take up exercise — when our peers and supervisors are encouraging us with supportive programs, benefits and policies.
Individual behavior is the biggest determinant (40%) of our health and mortality, bigger than our genes, social circumstances, healthcare and environmental exposure. We guide workplaces, schools, hospitals and clinics to create environments and systems that make healthy choices the easy norm for all. Our six-step change process revolves around web-based assessments (available 24/7) combined with support and training from our staff and peer organizations, followed by celebration and recognition of your achievements.
ROI for individuals: Quitting or reducing smoking can mean $1,000-$2,000 savings in the first year; 5-10 pounds of weight loss can result in 1-2 fewer medications, fewer medical visits, and slower disease progression.
ROI for organizations: A workplace can realize $1,000+ savings for each employee who reduces tobacco use, chooses to breastfeed after pregnancy, or maintains a healthy body mass index.
The true value of healthy workplaces stretches far beyond dollars, as Nicolaas Pronk of HealthPartners wrote in a July 2014 essay in the journal, Preventing Chronic Disease. “A healthy, well, resilient, and vital workforce,” Pronk writes, is at the heart of “a vital local economy that attracts new employers and industries, creates jobs, increases housing values, enhances prosperity, and supports local, national, and global competitiveness.”
We’ve coached hundreds of organizations over the years to make successful transformations — including these employers who have reached Excellence. We stay current on the latest evidence on what keeps us healthy, and we translate these findings into real-world practices for workplaces, schools, hospitals and clinics. Our recommendations complement other wellness services that may already be in place, such as health risk assessments, disease management classes, and tobacco cessation and weight-loss programs.
Our online assessments of organizations and their progress over time is yielding rich, unique data on organizational change and healthy workplaces. Our benchmark system for grades and improvements means that businesses, schools and hospitals can compare themselves to their peers by sector, region, and size. On a broader scale, researchers are working with our data to advance our understanding of what works in building healthy places.
Our robust internship program introduces and propels many people in the early stages of their careers towards work in public health and prevention. We draw from nearby colleges and universities with undergraduates and graduate students interested in research, training, advocacy and policy, business development and other areas. Interns’ contributions help our nonprofit grow in capacity. In the spring 2014 internship session alone, 7 volunteer interns (2 full-time, 5 part-time) contributed 1,910 hours of work toward our mission of building healthier places and changing lives.