Chamber breakfast focuses on healthcare

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, February 13, 2020

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During one part of the healthcare-focused presentation at Tuesday morning’s Early Bird Chamber Breakfast, everyone in attendance was asked to stand.

Then, the audience was asked to sit if they knew someone who had diabetes or who suffered from high blood pressure. Almost no one was still standing.

Dr. Olugbenga O. Obasanjo, director of District 4 Public Health, was the guest speaker at the breakfast. He talked about how public health has changed throughout the years and spoke about statistics that showed those changes.

Two factors mentioned were the opioid crisis and suicide rates, which are part of the reason life expectancy has fallen in the United States over the past few years.

“This is not sustainable,” Obsasanjo said.

Obansanjo said those numbers have changed health priorities to the point where public health isn’t just focused on immunizations and sickness.

Alexus Mack, who also works for the health department, spoke to the chamber members about starting a worksite wellness program.

“If you have happy, healthy employees, your business will thrive and you will have a work environment and a business. It is definitely a morale booster, especially when you have a lot of different changes going on your organization,” she said. “And then you get your return on investment not only with the success of their business but also just in strengthening their community.”

Mack talked about some of the policies they suggest, such as a physical activity policy, which allows all employees 30 minutes a day to get up and move. Others include a drug, alcohol and smoke-free policy.

“A healthy workplace wellness program will give you the leadership not only in the community but in your business and will train your workforce to be part of the solution,” Obansanjo said.

For more information on starting a workplace wellness program or on District 4 Public Health, call (706) 845-4035.