Harrison, AR Can a diagnosis of Diabetes affect my business? Yes, it can and does! Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Arkansas. The prevalence of diabetes in Arkansas has been at or above the national average for the past 10 years. There was a 35% increase in diabetes prevalence in Arkansas from 1993 to 2002 and an estimated $73 million was accrued in hospitalization costs for those people with diabetes. Persons with diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to have a chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension and kidney disease which can lead to disability or death.
Businesses must be prepared to address diabetes and its complications because absenteeism, loss of productivity and direct and indirect heath expenditures are so important to any company’s bottom line. The risk of a lower quality of life and premature death not only affects your employees and your business, but also the community at large.
Employees with diabetes can be found at all levels of a company. Support from employers encourages employees to remain productive and engaged, and contributes to a successful business model. Strategies for controlling diabetes can not only reduce diabetes risks, but also assist in managing other chronic diseases. Business entities have a unique opportunity to provide their employees with support and diabetes education. Developing a supportive work environment and providing education to encourage employees to adopt and perform good healthy behaviors for diabetes control not only benefits the employee, but the business as well. Education and a supportive work environment also provide ALL employees with opportunities to adopt healthier lifestyles that prevent the onset of many chronic diseases.
Locally, a Diabetes Community Collaborative comprised of representatives from North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, North Arkansas Partnership for Health Education, North Arkansas College, Dr. Dan J. Hawkins Community Health Resource Center, Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas Department of Health, Boone County Hometown Health Improvement Coalition, and the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been formed to help address the needs of individuals with diabetes, pre-diabetes and their family members. On November 25th, 2014 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM the group will host a Diabetes Leadership Summit at the Durand Center in Harrison, AR to educate community leaders from businesses, schools, and other community organizations about the burden of diabetes in the workforce, and how negative outcomes can be reversed. Please contact the NAPHE Continuing Education Department at 870-391-3367 or the Community Health Recourse Center at 870-391-3529 to register or request additional information.