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Diabetes Association Highlights Disease’s Toll On Business

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DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado chapter of the American Diabetes Association wants to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on businesses.

The organization hosted an executive ride with Lt. Governor Joe Garcia in the lead. Business leaders from throughout the Denver metro area rode their bikes about 20 miles to show their support for stopping diabetes in the state.

“In our state, the rate of Type 2 diabetes has actually increased 157 percent during the past decade, and now effects one in 14 Coloradans,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

Prevention is the key to combating Type 2 diabetes. As many as 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. could have the disease by 2050, if we don’t act to stop it now. The American Diabetes Association is calling on Metro Area businesses to sponsor a Tour de Cure team.

WellDyne is one business that is planning to put together a team for the first time this year. WellDyne is a pharmacy benefit management company. With the help of a robot, employees fill more than 9,000 prescriptions every day.

“We provide their retail services, their mail order services, as well as their specialty pharmacy services,” said Jack Feingold, Senior Vice President of Development for WellDyne.

Employees work on the production line and at desks, checking and rechecking their patients’ orders. It’s important work, but it’s also sedentary work. For the last 5 years, WellDyne has taken an active interest in their employees’ health and wellness.

“We started out simply by encouraging them to get blood tests and find out what kinds of health situations or conditions that they may have,” Feingold added.

The company installed a blood pressure machine that employees can use any time. They offer healthy eating lectures, organized softball and bowling teams, as well as a challenge for employees to keep track of the miles they put in exercising. The program is called Miles Matter, and employees can earn incentives for every 50 miles achieved.

“In my mind, it’s relatively inexpensive. In fact, the return on investment in those kinds of things is huge,” Feingold told CBS4.

Feingold says these simple preventative programs save a lot of money in health care costs on the back end, and they boost morale.

The American Diabetes Association hopes that more Colorado businesses will make the commitment to host a Tour de Cure team. Tour de Cure is Saturday, August 16th.

LINK: Tour de Cure

- Written for CBSDenver.com by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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