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State lawmakers honor University for employee health programs

The University's Michigan Healthy Community health and wellness initiative to encourage the long-term health of employees has received a legislative tribute in Lansing.
(Courtesy HRAA)

U-M was one of 10 Michigan employers honored on Diabetes and Kidney Advocacy Day April 24 for making significant commitments to promoting employee wellness through programs and policies that focus on prevention and disease management.

"Many companies have realized that they are spending more and more on health care but not enough on health," said LaVaughn Palma-Davis, senior director for University health and wellbeing initiatives. Palma accepted the tribute from Rep. Pam Byrnes, D-Lyndon Township, on behalf of U-M, along with Alicen Spaulding, project coordinator for Focus on Diabetes, a disease intervention program of Michigan Healthy Community.

The tribute recognized the work to improve the health and welfare of employees and the greater Washtenaw County community. It was signed by Sen. Liz Brater,
D-Ann Arbor, Byrnes and Gov. Jennifer Granholm on behalf of the 94th Legislature of the State of Michigan.

Diabetes and Kidney Advocacy Day is hosted by the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and the Michigan Diabetes Outreach Network to advocate for diabetes and kidney disease prevention funding.

One in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes, which is the leading cause of kidney disease. Seventy percent of all cases of kidney failure caused by diabetes or high blood pressure may have been prevented or delayed.

U-M specifically was recognized for:

• The Michigan Healthy Community Initiative (MHealthy), encouraging healthier living for employees, their families, retirees and U-M students;

• MHealthy: Focus on Diabetes program, testing the benefits of reducing or eliminating medication co-pay costs for more than 2,400 employees and dependents with diabetes;

• MHealthy: Focus on Medicines program, offering a comprehensive medication review with a U-M pharmacist to employees, retirees and dependents taking nine or more prescription medications to optimize treatment and reduce drug interaction risks;

• Active U, a physical activity challenge program to increase daily exercise, while raising funds for charity;

• The Good Choice program, increasing healthier food and beverage options in U-M vending machines, food service areas and catered meals;

• The Enhanced Ergonomic Awareness Program, offering consultation for individuals and departments, self-help tools, targeted interventions for highU+00E2U+0080U+0093risk work areas and grants and awards for ergonomic solutions;

• The Mental and Emotional Health in the Workplace Initiative, providing an educational campaign to reduce stigma and encourage outreach with resource guides and on-line self-help modules, management training and enhanced disability care coordination and return to work processes.

For more information about the programs of Michigan Healthy Community go to www.mhealthy.umich.edu.

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