Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Discussing Employee Wellness with Larry Aldrich, Executive Director of the Arizona Business Coalition on Health

Monday, September 9, 2013

Recently, the Arizona Business Coalition on Health (now known as the Employers Health Alliance of Arizona) held a summit on physical activity and workplace wellness. The summit hoped to demonstrate to attendees that only when actors from schools, senior centers, businesses, and other sectors work collaboratively—outside of traditional silos—can real progress be made in community health.

The summit also emphasized the role employers have in community-wide prevention efforts. According to Aldrich, the business community has an important role in building healthier communities because a healthy community drives economic development. Not only is a healthy workforce better and more productive, but it fuels future economic growth and progress. Healthy communities and a healthy employee base are often determining factors when businesses decide where to establish headquarters or expand operations.

Sustainability is also a very important element to health improvement efforts. Aldrich said he is dedicated to educating members of the coalition and the business community at large about the long-term commitment necessary to foster better health. Aldrich believes summit attendees walked away with the understanding that there are no quick fixes to improving health, but being steadfast and working together will produce results that will allow a community to flourish.

Aldrich also views data, such as that provided by the County Health Rankings, to be critical. He calls the Rankings a rich dataset that paints a compelling picture of a community. Aldrich says that the Rankings can help communities continuously assess what the most pressing needs are and what short, mid and long-term goals should be.

In early April 2013, the Arizona Business Coalition along with eight other business coalitions through the National Business Coalition on Health received grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and United Health Foundation to improve health in their community. The National Business Coalition on Health is a national partner of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program.