Griffin Reynolds is the Wellness and Outreach Manager for Tanner Health System in Carrollton, GA. As a community hospital system, Tanner Health System is the leading healthcare leader in the west Georgia and east Alabama region. Recently, Tanner Health System has not only shifted its focus from volume to value-based care, but has also put an emphasis on population management through preventative care and chronic disease management. Griffin has been leading the wellness efforts at Tanner Health System and its 3,000 employees for over four years, and is also a leader in community wellness initiatives.
Professional Development: I received my Bachelor's degree in health promotion and behavior from the University of Georgia in 2011. After accepting the role as the wellness coordinator, I continued my professional development by earning the CHES certification from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. In 2013 I became a Certified Lifestyle Coach for the Center for Disease Control's Diabetes Prevention Program, enabling participants to lower their risk for type 2 diabetes. In 2014 I became a Certified Instructor for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles' Kids N Fitness program, aimed to reduce weight gain in overweight and obese youth. Additionally, in 2014 I became a Certified WELCOA Faculty Member, having successfully completed various training subjects. While I am very proud of my college degree and other certifications, it was the Certified Lifestyle Coach certification process through the Centers for Disease Control that allowed me to make evidence-based, lasting changes in employee and community participants.
Demonstrated Success: Tanner Health System has seen great progress and success with its employee wellness program, with numerous cases of decreased risk factors and improved health markers. However, our community's health data is still lagging behind with respect to chronic diseases. For example, the CDC estimates that about 35 percent of adults have prediabetes. This means that nearly 40,000 adults in our three county region have prediabetes. To help stop this trend, we've implemented various evidence-based programs across three counties that community members can participate in free of charge. Additionally, we've empowered community members to take action on their health by traning them to lead the class in the community, whether it be at their church, school, or workplace. To date we've trained over 200 community members to lead evidence-based chronic disease programs. One such program is the Center for Disease Control's Diabetes Prevention Program. This year-long program helps participants fight risk factors for developing diabetes. Participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program report significant improvements in their health:
To further combat the prevalence of chronic disease in our region, we implemented Stanford University's Living Well with Chronic Disease program, which targets arthritis, obesity, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depression, fibromyalgia, heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke. The course enables participants to manage their condition-specific symptoms to live a healthier, active life. Research studies have shown that people who completed the workshop experience:
Leadership: As the leader of wellness at Tanner Health System, I find it of the utmost importance to the organization’s success that I lead by example. I consider myself a servant leader – that is, I wouldn’t ask any of my employees to do anything that I wouldn’t myself do. I’m quick to roll up my sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter how big or small. I manage a team of 3 energetic health coaches, 1 Certified Diabetes Educator, and 1 Registered Dietitian, all of whom are vital to keeping our employees healthy. I try and stay in the constant limelight through the health system. Whether it’s making healthy choices at the cafeteria, working out amongst the employees at the fitness centers, or getting my annual health assessment, I show up cheerful and ready to commit to what Tanner Health System is invested in on any particular day.
Compelling Vision: I believe one threat to the wellness industry over the next 5 years is rising healthcare costs. Businesses and organizations are shelling out more and more money for employees’ health, so budget cuts won’t allow for wellness programs to exist in some markets. I am helping combat this threat by creating a focus on business and industry wellness. Using the resources we have at Tanner Health System, I will be able to implement similar programs to ours with the goal of improving employee health at businesses that may not be fortunate enough to have wellness programs. This will cause a ripple effect – improving overall health, decreasing the prevalence of chronic diseases, and lowering healthcare costs – benefiting both the employee and employer. This will in turn create healthier communities, which will ripple into other communities, counties, and states. The potential is endless; it’s time to roll up the sleeves.