October 6, 2016, Chapel Hill, N.C. – Prevention Partners, a state and national leader in guiding schools, hospitals, and workplaces to address the leading causes of preventable disease, hosted its third annual Healthy Together NC Summit in Research Triangle Park, N.C., on Tuesday, October 4. The summit featured the release of the 2016 NC Power of 10 Report Card, showcased three organizations making transformational healthy workplace changes, and featured key state leaders discussing how to engage new leaders. Prevention Partners awarded The Duke Endowment and the North Carolina Hospital Association the 2016 North Carolina Prevention Excellence Award for the decade-long Healthy Hospital Initiative which resulted in North Carolina being the only state where all hospitals are 100% tobacco-free, offer access to affordable healthy food, and have a work environment that supports being physically active and embodies a culture of wellness.
The 2016 NC Power of 10 Report Card was released, outlining progress of Healthy Together NC’s “Power of 10” goal to bring healthy changes to at least 10 major employers in all 100 counties by 2026. Prevention Partners’ report shows that the partnership is reaching 9.6% of North Carolina’s workforce, with 12 counties currently at the Power of 10 and 67 on their way.
“The 2016 NC Power of 10 Report Card shows that 354 workplaces and 103 schools across 79 counties within North Carolina are establishing best practices for a healthy culture,” said Prevention Partners President & CEO, Meg Molloy. “We congratulate these leaders who are bringing the strongest prevention policies and environments to their organization to support healthy behaviors among employees and students. As community, business, and school leaders recognize the power they have to improve health, and as healthy places spread to employers and schools in all 100 counties, we will reach a tipping point that prevents half of cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.”
Three employers shared how they are making transformational healthy workplace changes. Speakers included Timothy Hamilton, Food Service Manager, Greene Correctional Institution, NC Department of Public Safety, Gretchen Bayne, Manager of Wellness Programs, Wake Forest Baptist Health, and Nekita Eubanks, Director of Human Resources, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
“We started our wellness journey in 2011, scoring low in WorkHealthy America, and now we’re earning A’s in each of WorkHealthy America’s wellness topics. Now the work really begins,” said Nekita Eubanks, Director of Human Resources at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “How can I get us past the A’s? How can I keep the momentum going? How can I keep everyone engaged? That’s the way I look at it when I look at this journey that we’re on.”
The second panel of the day featured state leaders discussing how new leadership can expand to reach 25% of North Carolina’s workforce. Speakers included Dr. Pat Mitchell, Assistant Secretary, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Hugh Tilson, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, North Carolina Hospital Association, and Lynette Tolson, Executive Director, North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors.
“If you look at Prevention Partners’ annual report, the picture shown is a nice, long straight road. In reality, the road isn’t always flat and straight. When it is curvy, you must find new or adjusted ways to reach the road ahead,” said Dr. Pat Mitchell, Assistant Secretary for Rural Development at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. “The Department of Commerce was given planner/economic developer dollars in this year’s budget and will place some of those in each of the state’s 8 prosperity zones. Interacting in conversations about healthy lifestyles and a healthy workforce seems an appropriate conversation.”
The summit concluded with the presentation of the 2016 North Carolina Prevention Excellence Award, which was given to both The Duke Endowment and the North Carolina Hospital Association. The award is the highest honor Prevention Partners offers in North Carolina. North Carolina Hospital Association President, Bill Pully, and Board Chair, Joann Anderson, accepted their award, while Program Officer, Meka Sales, accepted The Duke Endowment’s award.
About Prevention Partners
Prevention Partners is a state and national leader in creating healthy places where we work, learn, and receive care. Through a suite of products, the non-profit organization guides schools, workplaces, hospitals, and clinics in addressing the leading causes of preventable disease (tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and obesity) in effort to build healthier communities. With expertise in public health and organizational change, Prevention Partners translates the latest prevention science into real-world practices, including policies, benefits, and environmental changes.
About Healthy Together NC
Healthy Together NC is a Prevention Partners initiative in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, North Carolina Community Foundation, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors, North Carolina Hospital Association, North Carolina State Health Plan, Population Health Improvement Partners, Cone Health, and Vidant Medical Center. It aims to build bridges between business, health, and government, and transform workplaces and schools across the state through healthier policies, benefits, and environments.