Talking health in a former cookie factory


TMCx, the Texas Medical Center accelerator that occupies the old Nabisco cookie factory, was the venue for a gathering of Houston employers and other stakeholders on Wednesday for a discussion on innovative ways to improve health and wellbeing.

Dane Friend, vice president of human resources at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) kicked off the proceedings by talking about how his organization has been a long-time client of Vitality. Friend gave an overview of their award-winning workforce health programs – most recently named in the top five employers for the 2016 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America.

Dane explained that employers began to ask Baylor College of Medicine for the secret to its success, the organization sought out Vitality Group, its wellness provider, to ask if it was interested in coming together to offer external wellness services. Both organizations have wellness as their core mission and a partnership opened for business in May 2017.

Vitality USA CEO Tal Gilbert then addressed emerging trends in health and wellness such as the importance of understanding behaviors, expanding definitions of health, the evolution of technology and the resulting overload of fitness applications. As a result, it’s critical to connect people with the right resources at the right time to ensure that the right technologies and nudges are in place so that devices are used over the long term to improve health. Gilbert then offered a brief overview of how employers are successfully using the Active Rewards with Apple Watch program.

After a healthy lunch and networking, Roberta Anding, a member of the Baylor faculty and a leading sports nutritionist shared details on how employers are making an impact by taking a fresh look at nutrition.

And Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, Director of Baylor Global Initiatives and the Baylor Global Innovation Center at Baylor College of Medicine, offered an overview of Smart Pods that were first developed as an innovative way to offer healthcare support remotely during the Ebola outbreak, but is now being used in other areas for disaster recovery and well visits and healthcare in remote locations such as oil fields in West Texas.

We look forward to hosting more events in the future.

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