ENTRY FROM: The Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Frank Jakka

Frank Jakka

Frank Jakka is a Senior Practice Manager for Cerner, overseeing Wellness Service delivery for the Cerner Wellness solution. This web-based platform is aimed at providing clients and participants technology to identify current health status, assess health risks, take action at reducing potential risks, engage in competitive physical activity and nutrition challenges, track incentives and engage with Certified Personal Trainers, Registered Dietitians and Health Coaches as a support means. Frank has been in the health and wellness field for 17 years and wrote the business formula, delivery, service documentation and project scope and delivered services directly prior to growth of the service which now includes 22 wellness professionals and over 110 clients. Cerner is a global healthcare technology company with over 16,000 associates globally, with multiple healthcare solutions, including the Cerner Wellness platform.


With a life-long passion around physical activity, fitness, wellness and athletics, Frank holds strong beliefs in the field as not only personal ideals, but a way of life and is an advocate for personal health and well-being.

Frank began his career in the field of education, teaching physical education and health to grades K-8.  Previously, Frank also traveled across the country, leading worksite health screening teams to deliver on-site biometric screenings.  Frank has also directly managed on-site programs for the United States Marines Corps, AT & T, Hewlett-Packard and Sony.

Frank has a degree in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University, and is a Certified Personal Trainer from the American Council on Exercise.  Additionally, Frank is a Certified Health Practitioner from the National Wellness Institute, and has achieved Faculty status through the Wellness Councils of America.

Frank also values teachings from the National Wellness Institute, Health Promotion Live, the American Journal of Health Promotion and Health Enhancement Research Organization.  Frank views WELCOA as the standard and most current information source, and as such, Frank has strived to maintain faculty status for the last three years.


In 2010, Frank developed and wrote content for the Cerner Wellness website, ‘StartWell’ (  This website served multiple purposes: that of a marketing tool, a source for organizations to get a foundational understanding of the need for corporate wellness, and the cross-functional ability for the Cerner Wellness platform to deliver wellness programming.  One of the main cited resources for the content of this website is based on WELCOA’s 7 Benchmarks.

The StartWell site is a functional resource for prospective organizations and existing clients, and receives thousands of visits annually.

Also in 2010, Frank spear-headed efforts in partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to offer a longitudinal study that looked at the impact of on-line behavior change programs in reducing heart disease risk among women.  The study captured over 500 engaged participants and measured baseline factual biometric data in tandem with individual health assessment information to identify and interpret health risk.  Based on this data, participants were provided on-line programs targeted at their primary risks.  Tasks in these on-line program workshops included health education, logging of health, nutrition and exercise information, and direct outreach.  Upon completion participants were directed to again complete blood work and re-take of the Personal Health Assessment.

At the conclusion of the program and following re-testing and final follow-up, there was an overall improvement in Health Score; aggregate drop in health risk, specifically as it related to weight, hypertension and stress.


Frank is personally cognizant of his personal health responsibility as well as that of a role model to others in displaying healthy behaviors.

Leading a team of 22 early career health and wellness professionals, Frank is directly involved in the management, growth and development of his team.  Frank wrote the business documentation for delivering wellness management service, which are the first components covered upon hire by a new associate on the Cerner Wellness team.  This documentation is based upon Frank’s direct background with teaching and health education, the importance of statistical and direct work experience as an on-site program manager working at a multitude of organizations.  Aligned are WELCOA’s 7 Benchmarks which includes the importance of organization and environmental support, responsible program design and strategy as well as thoughtful programming to drive engagement and healthier behaviors.

Additionally, Frank secures membership to WELCOA for all team members, encourages and provides opportunities to learn from WELCOA webinars and sends the team to the annual WELCOA conference annually.


In 2011, Frank identified the need for a new business line to assist clients with limited resources to provide wellness program design and delivery.  Identified as Wellness Management Service, this supplemental service negates the need for clients to have wellness experts in-house by providing a Cerner Wellness expert available to develop strategy, marketing plans, development of programs, road mapping, incentive program design, site content development and assistance with overall administration of the client portal and program.

Cerner Wellness’ Management Service began as a team of one (Frank) but grew to three associates at the end of 2011 and currently consists of 22 associates as of October 2014.  The client base using the service currently consists of over 110 client partners and includes direct employee programs across a multitude of industries including health care, financial, technology, higher education, retail and other industries.  Additionally, the service has extended to provide business consulting service to health care providers and systems who re-sell the Cerner Wellness solution to their targeted populations.

The structural templates used for creating strategy and programs, though modified to meet specific client need, are deeply rooted in WELCOA’s 7 Benchmarks, as well as the most current up to date information provided by on-going information and webinars hosted by WELCOA, and with information found on

In late 2012, Cerner Wellness did an internal study examining engagement and outcomes among client partners using the wellness management service and found that those using the service were seeing 10-30% higher engagement and that these participants were on average achieving better health status with lower risk.


Frank’s vision for Health Promotion and Wellness focus on the need to overcome the silos that remain prevalent in the health care and wellness space.  Historically, our health care system has been structured as a band aid approach to health; individuals only seek health care when facing health issues and accordingly, our ‘health care systems’ became ‘sick care systems’.  Primarily, there needs to be alignment with health care and wellness which strives to keep people healthy to eliminate or manage risk, before an individual is in a diseased state.

The main threats still visible to health promotion and achieving true ‘health care’ are the cultural views still maintained and the structure of the health care system today.  Culturally, individuals continue to hesitate in being proactive with their health and lack self-responsibility.  This perpetuates poor habits, and is evidenced with childhood obesity, earlier on-set of health risks such as diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension.  The health care system is still very rooted in a fee for ‘sick’ service model, one in which hospitals, are completely dependent on in order to maintain financial viability.  Further, cost (and revenue) for caring for someone in a disease state is much higher than caring for an individual in a lower risk or healthy state.  Therefore, there is no motivation on the part of the system, and thereby no encouragement for individuals, to be proactive (or responsible) for their personal health.

Adding to this is the prescription drug industry and health care providers who are also at a financial and business risk for potentially realizing lower demand for goods and services, adding to this cyclical ‘sick model’ of health care delivery.

In the future, Frank is going to continue to drive wellness as a health care initiative, leveraging current client partnerships to understand wellness as a business model.  Further, Frank will continue to examine opportunities available through Cerner to identify opportunities for technology delivery as a wellness, health and health care vision.  Personally, Frank continues a conscious effort to live by example and advocate for personal health responsibility.

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