Did you know that approximately 84 million Americans have prediabetes, but nearly 90% of those individuals are unaware they have the condition?1 Prediabetes and diabetes are two of the most costly conditions for employers in the United States, making up $322 billion in healthcare spending and lost productivity each year.2

In 2018, Quest Diagnostics Health & Wellness continues its mission to slow down the diabetes epidemic in the United States. Quest was again a proud sponsor of the American Diabetes Association® Diabetes Alert Day, which took place on March 27. On that day, in order to raise awareness about prediabetes and promote lifestyle changes among our own call center employees, we partnered with the American Diabetes Association of Kansas City as a Wellness Lives Here™ sponsor to host educational presentations at our Kansas City-area call centers.

Dr. Betty Drees, Professor of Medicine and Dean Emerita at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, board-certified endocrinologist, and American Diabetes Association KC Board President, kicked off the 4 presentations that took place on Diabetes Alert Day. She taught the audience about prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as outlined what individuals can do to reduce their risk. During our 2 morning presentations, we were lucky to host Will Shields, former Kansas City Chiefs guard, National Football League Hall of Fame Class of 2015, and Owner of 68’s Inside Sports. Will shared how type 2 diabetes has affected his life, as well as his personal story of getting healthy. Fox4KC showed up to cover the first two presentations in Lenexa and the coverage appeared live on their morning show.

In addition to raising awareness, we catered a healthy lunch for our Health & Wellness Call Center employees in Lee’s Summit, MO and made an exciting announcement. Those 60 employees have wired headsets to answer the phone, but on Alert Day, we were able to announce to that group that they would soon be receiving brand new wireless headsets, allowing them to stand up and walk around while still being available to take calls.

“The important things are the small initiatives we can offer to help people lead healthier lives,” said Wendi Mader, Director of Marketing Strategy for Quest Diagnostics Health & Wellness. “I am proud that our organization is dedicated to improving the health of all our employees, especially those at our call centers, and I hope our commitment helps other corporations understand that employee health should be the main focus.”

Increasing awareness about prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is an essential first step to improving employee health, especially within our call centers. But there are other small things that can be done to allow for flexibility, activity, and healthy habits that show how dedicated Quest Diagnostics is to employee health. Quest Diagnostics Health & Wellness also shared a helpful Call Center Toolkit to help other organizations see how easy it is to make the small changes that lead to healthier lives.

Resources:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. Accessed April 3, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf.
2. American Diabetes Association. The cost of diabetes. June 22, 2015. Accessed April 3, 2018. http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/news-events/cost-of-diabetes.html.