Submission for Kandi Qualls, PhD, CHES, CIC
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Manager, Health Management Consulting
16 years in the field
My initial career choice was to become a school teacher. After completing my BA in Liberal Studies, and acquiring a job as a Prevention Specialist in 1998, I realized my passion in life was to assist people in living healthier lives. Therefore, I furthered my education with a Master’s of Health Education, and a Doctorate in Community Health. I expanded my skill set, and became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) in 2006, and a Certified Intrinsic Coach (CIC) in 2012. My PhD and CIC have built the platform that I work from today.
I have been with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for less than a year. In this timeframe, I have assisted moderate and large size companies to develop their platform in starting a wellness program. The platform built for these companies utilized the 7 Benchmarks of Success, along with other platform components. The basis of platform development is working with each company to “infuse wellness into their business”. Wellness programs should not be viewed or delivered as a separate entity. It should be seamlessly infused into their business, central to their own corporate mission, vision and goals. Businesses are built on people working together, and wellness programs focus on building people, to become their best. These two goals align and support each other; therefore, a corporate wellness program should be viewed and delivered in the same manner. The 7 Benchmarks of Success are areas that are addressed in building that company’s’ infusion of wellness into their business.
My 16 years of health promotion experience have brought forth many measured successes. The most recent and notable was an email health coaching program that I developed for a national corporation. This corporation had many barriers to engaging their population, and the creation of this program assisted to remove those barriers, and reach individuals on a personal level to achieve their wellness goals. The email health coaching program was piloted for 4 months. Over 300 people enrolled, with 178 engaging every month for the entire duration of the program. The 178 evaluated in this program achieved 2,200lbs lost, 19 people quit and 22 people reduced tobacco. Not only did this program bring forth personal success, but management, at the locations where participants worked, stated their locations had increased team support, enthusiasm and daily actions to live healthier lifestyles.
My passion for health promotion lies in these two areas, infusing wellness into business and health coaching to bring forth individual, family and community change. These two strategies impact total population health from both ends. Infusing wellness into business, utilizing the 7 Benchmarks of Success as factors in that strategy, brings forward improved health on an organizational level, from the top down. Health coaching brings forth individual success, which branches out and up to impact co-workers, family members, and then span to their community. These two important strategies cannot work by themselves to achieve optimal total population wellness. Both must be in place and work cohesively to bring forth the greatest health impact. When these are cohesively implemented and successful, I have seen up to an 8:1 ROI, and major cultural and personal behavior changes brought forward.
Infusing wellness into my life, has built my leadership platform. As a leader to individuals, I am an example of “practicing what I preach”. I am an ex-smoker, and a former obese individual. Becoming a leader of my own life has brought forth great rewards. My personal rewards consist of 16 years quit and 7 years of healthy weight maintenance. This has led to condition management and migraine elimination. Due to personal wellness infusion for my own life, I am an effective professional, parent and leader.
As a professional leader, my education, certifications, experiences, and personal passion has molded professionals to bring results. Advice I give others is to love what you do, show passion in all facets of life, and professionally build in several areas. Health promotion encompasses strategies and programs from the top down and the bottom up. One must be versed in both areas, coupled with personal passion, to bring forth a positive impact.
I bring an innovated approach to health coaching and wellness infusion into business. The CIC shifted how I converse with individuals in all facets of life. Each conversation is structured to bring forth goals that are important to them, and identification of the choices that accomplish them. By focusing on choices that bring rewards, they accomplish their goals. This approach to conversations has brought goal attainment to >90%.
Corporate wellness infusion reveals that they already support wellness. They are investing in their number one asset, people. Wellness is just an extension of that focus. By thoroughly understanding how a company does business and what their employees’ value, a strategy can be built to seamlessly integrate into their organization and expand efforts already in place. This strategy has brought >90% program participation with up to an 8:1 ROI. Furthermore, behavioral and cultural changes were established to sustain long term wellness efforts.
The greatest threat to health promotion today is a cultural message of focusing on everything else, but us. Dalai Lama once said, “Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.” By performing daily actions that bring forth optimal health; the energy, drive and focus we need is there to give to our profession and personal life. Corporate wellness programs have shown the same success at the organizational level. High performing companies are sustained through daily positive business practices.
In the next 5 years, I will continue promoting, educating and delivering infusion of wellness into business. To address personal wellness, ideally we need health to be a mandatory subject for all grades. This would bring forward a cultural and future generation impact. Until that is accomplished, I will continue educating professionals on how they can change their conversation – to change a life.