ENTRY FROM: 2016 Top Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Kandi Lannen

Improving the Health and Lives of Our Community

Kandi is the Director of Wellness at Priority Health, an award-winning, Michigan-based non-profit health plan with more than 700,000 members and 1,600 employees. Priority Health is the only health plan in Michigan to have earned the Wellness and Health Promotion Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which recognizes plans that improve employees’ health and reduce absenteeism.

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Kandi Lannen, Director Wellness Priority Health

Kandi successfully earned her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Central Michigan University.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1997.  Kandi went on to complete a dietetic internship and successfully passed the Commission on Dietetics Registration certification exam in 1998. She also earned her Wellness Program Manager certification.   Kandi naturally gravitated to the field of dietetics out of a pure passion for Wellness and her belief that leveraging nutrition would give her a competitive advantage as a collegiate track athlete.  Working as a Registered Dietitian launched Kandi’s career in the Wellness Industry where she has “walked the talk” for 18 years.

Kandi’s team’s most successful wellness programs address high and increasing modifiable health risks and elevated lab results (including biometric screening and physician lab data).   Kandi’s team combines Health Assessment risk data with member lab data to create proprietary high risk stratification.  The intervention most successful with proven outcomes has been our proprietary high risk health coaching program.   Our stratification identifies members who will benefit from intervention with a health coach based on their unique modifiable health risks, like physical inactivity, stress, high BMI, and poor nutrition. With Kandi’s leadership, we incorporate the knowledge and experience of our health coaches, data analysts, medical directors, behavioral health and care management specialists within our organization.  This program helps members discover their internal motivation resulting in positive behavior, lifestyle changes, decreased health risks as well as improved health and quality of life. Our health coaches are skilled in motivational interviewing to help members craft individualized wellness plans.  Feedback we received from a member regarding their health coaching experience: “My blood sugar is the lowest I have seen it in forever. I don’t have to go back to the doctor for 6 months instead of 3 months. You helped me find my motivation!  Now I just need to keep it up. I can do it!” There’s tremendous value in health coaching including demonstrated ROI in 2015 of $2.44/dollar invested in the program.  In addition to ROI we have seen shifts in client culture due to increased value being placed on member intervention. And as a result, our health coaching program has been recognized by the Michigan Association of Health Plans and has been a Pinnacle Award Recipient for several years.  

Kandi’s team has demonstrates all WELCOA benchmarks.  First, we capture CEO support, isn’t possible to engage a population without support.  Our wellness consultants meet directly with our client’s decision makers to map out wellness programming to engage members and encourage a positive wellness culture.   The team provides mailings to members who are stratified into health coaching, in addition to providing marketing support and videos that outline the benefits of health coaching.  With a cohesive wellness team we support our client’s wellness programming efforts.  Consultants work closely with health coaching staff and analysts to ensure members are reached timely and proactively.  We collect many data elements to support the proactive outreach – Health Assessment, survey, lab and other data elements help guide the member intervention and outreach efforts.  This is how we are able to choose the appropriate intervention for members and direct care to them based on their unique data.  Kandi’s team feels it’s important to carefully evaluate program outcomes to ensure members and clients are getting the most of their wellness program.  These outcomes are communicated to the client regularly via our Population Health Wellness Report.  This is a custom client report that includes data from the Health Assessment, claims, lab data, challenges and health coaching.  The report, where applicable, includes a 3 year trend so clients can see the changes in outcomes over time.

As the Wellness leader in her company and community, Kandi strives to achieve balance and make healthy choices.  Also as a former collegiate track athlete, competitive body builder and canoe racer, leading a healthy lifestyle comes naturally to Kandi.  And, in the workplace, she promotes and supports work life balance and family first.  With a team of 30, Kandi promotes harmony and invests in education and development opportunities for her team.  A recent workshop included discussion on managing stress, a yoga class and a culinary team building experience.  Kandi also enjoys company events like the annual Gran Fondo charity bike ride for skin cancer research.  In memory of Kandi’s dad, Kandi is committed to supporting the American Heart Association as a member of the Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team.

Collaboration, advocacy and results have been instrumental to Kandi in achieving recognition as a wellness leader.  She encourages aspiring leaders to invest in memberships like WELCOA to stay abreast of industry trends.  Build a professional network to connect and collaborate with leaders and innovators.

Kandi’s team is focused on implementing innovative solutions by utilizing Population Health Wellness reporting and tactics.  A holistic approach is used to review health assessment, claims costs, labs, health coaching and participation data.  One data collection source is an application used by care management, behavioral health and health coaching teams.  The application gives a comprehensive view into the health journey of the member.  We can triage members to the right care at the right time. Analysis is done by employer, industry and book of business to assess risk prevalence and costs.  Then targeted program recommendations aimed to improve the wellbeing of the workforce are made. Readiness to change is a metric used to maximize engagement and therefore, health outcomes.  The ROI on our health coaching program is $2.44/dollar invested as a result of this approach.  Additionally, our wellness programs score very well on satisfaction evaluations, over 85% in 2015.

Kandi believes the Wellness industry will seize many opportunities in the next 5 years starting with the way wellness providers and employers engage employees in wellness initiatives.  Workplace wellness will look and feel vastly different than today.  Kandi appreciates that the shift is in fact already in motion.  Communication and connectivity will improve through channel of choice.  Engagement in programs will increase because employees will have choices.  Population Wellness will at its core mean, individual wellness. Individuals will be able to choose from a menu of well-being programs and select ones that are most relevant to their health journey.  Additionally, Kandi envisions Wellness programs will expand beyond employee and spouse to include the entire family.  Examples include, family based health coaching and family centered wellness challenges. Finally, incentives and rewards will continue to transition away from a one size fits all into selectable options based on individual preference motivators.

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Kandi Lannen, Director Wellness Priority Health
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Comments 21

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So proud to have Kandi as a committed and innovative leader of wellness on our team!

Megan S. on 12/06/2016

Kandi daily demonstrates principle-centered leadership style. She is 100% committed to the sustainable quality of our Company, seeking synergy within our Wellness Department by encouraging change in new and creative ways, and seeing the whole picture in honor of our highly valued Members. It is obvious through her amazing communication, connectivity, and engagement skills that she is truly dedicated. Kandi leads our team such that we feel empowered which shows that leadership is so much more than a position or title; it is action and example. My vote is for Kandi Lannen!

Angela H. on 12/04/2016

Kandi's commitment to wellness is a valued resource for our organization. Her thoughtful approach in leading her team in providing innovative wellness programs for our employer groups is appreciated.

Tina P. on 12/02/2016

Kandi is a wellness champion and pacesetter in the industry. She strives for excellence, results and is passionate not only about the work but our people as well.

Jennifer J. on 12/02/2016

Kandi, your passion for health and wellness is not only seen through all you do at work for our team, our company, our community and our members but also with your family. Your dedication to promoting health and wellness and bringing awareness with charities near and dear to you is amazing and we couldn't ask for a better leader. Thank you for all you do!

Sara L. on 12/02/2016

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