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Hopes For The New Year

The holidays are a time of celebration with gatherings at home and work, along with traditions and activities we look forward to, whether that’s baking a favorite cookie, finding a perfect live tree, or curling up in front of Netflix under a blanket. There are many ways to celebrate. 

As you ring in the season, Health Action Council, a member-driven organization committed to enhancing human and economic health, wishes you prosperity, agility, empathy, and creativity as we continue to navigate change and support our teams. 

  • Prosperity comes in different packages, all shapes and sizes, and it means something different to everyone. Consider how you define prosperity and the ways your employees can succeed and enjoy the rewards of progress.
  • Agility is critical as we face unique times and a whole new level of evolution in our workplace environments. It’s all happening fast. Agility is to be nimble, to move quickly and easily so we can adapt, pivot, overcome, and thrive.
  • Empathy gives us the ability to see people for who they really are, to walk in others’ shoes, understand varying perspectives and consider what supports, services, and tools benefit the individuals on our teams.
  • Creativity allows us to get out of our skin, push past our comfort zones and try something new. As the Einstein saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” And who needs more insanity during the holidays?

Now, as for celebrating, why not take a moment to consider all we’ve accomplished this year—how far we have come, what milestones were marked, and what boxes were checked. In the spring, we talked about how we are all start-ups in some way and a way to “re-start” and reimagine how we work and deliver healthcare benefits can be guided by Dieter Rams Ten Principles of ‘Good Design.’ Evaluate your employee population, their health and wellness requirements, and how you’re growing forward in changing times. 

We addressed equity and medicine: what’s driving the cost of care. We released our fifth annual white paper, Costly conditions: Identifying and addressing top clinical cost drivers. What we learned is where employees live affects health, provider billing patterns, and employer spend. Everybody is unique. And the way we deliver benefits and encourage wellness in the workplace based on our employee population’s needs can make a positive impact. 

We also challenged employers to strip away the financial aspect of their health insurance plans. We encourage you to ask the question: What does health look like without the dollars and cents? And we identified that in a current healthcare system where lack of timely access to appointments is a reality, we need to take a good, hard look at communications to employees. So moving forward, instead of emphasizing preventive care from a provider, maybe we need to be sending a strong message—to take preventive care into our own hands. Stress reduction, exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and socializing with friends and family are all proven to produce positive outcomes. And that is exactly what we hope for our members this holiday season, into the New Year and beyond. 

We hope you press the pause button this season to appreciate all the little-big things—the stuff that matters. Check in with our employees — and encourage them to check in with each other. Enjoy time with friends and family, unwind and give your employees permission to treat themselves, to take care and to care for each other. We wish you a joyous holiday and a healthy New Year. 

About Health Action Council 
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid-and large-size employers that enhance human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees. Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.

Patty Starr bio image

About the author

Patty Starr

Patty Starr is president and CEO of Health Action Council and is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the organization--build stronger, healthier communities where business can thrive. 

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