Froedtert creates health screening program for executives

Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin have established the Executive Health Program to bring health care convenience to the busy lives of executives.

The program allows an executive to spend a half a day getting all the necessary tests, and seeing all the necessary specialists they need to, typically with one appointment.

“Executive health is an area of interest of mine. I think it’s an area where a great deal can be done,” said Dr. Robert Gleeson, director of the Wisconsin Executive Health program. “This is distinctly different than an annual physical, so you need to have someone that is interested in it to lead the program so it can reach the level it needs to be at.”

Gleeson describes the Executive Health Program at Froedtert as much more than an annual checkup.

“It’s an intensive six-hour review of somebody’s health and wellness,” he said.

The program was designed to compete with Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Health Clinic’s executive program, Gleeson said.

The program is for men and women but tends to focus on men, since historically they are less likely to see a doctor, Gleeson said.

“My focus is on prevention,” he said. “There is nothing more powerful than a good lifestyle change to give wellness a chance. This Executive Health Program will map out an executives’ overall health, where their BMI (body mass index), their blood pressure, their cholesterol are, where they should be and what their level of risks are.”

According to Gleeson, he gets about 75 to 90 minutes of face time with each patient in the Executive Health Program. During that time, they can discuss the patient’s risk of developing heart disease, the 10-year risk of developing diabetes, current cholesterol levels and whether or not they should be on medication, he said. He also follows up with each patient with a letter containing the information from their exam.

“I believe that most people are motivated to take better care of their health. They just don’t know how to do it,” he said. “With this assessment, I can give patients charts, diagrams and other papers that actually show that information. That can sometimes be a motivating factor.”

The executive health program takes patients through a six-hour process, Gleeson said.

“From the time the patients arrive, they are led from appointment to appointment. There is no wasted time,” he said. “We do all of the necessary tests, and none of the unnecessary tests.”

At Mayo Clinic a similar process takes about two days, he said.

Froedtert’s partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin and other researchers also makes it easier for referrals to happen on the same day or as soon as possible.

Executives at companies such as Harley Davidson Inc., Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., and MGIC Investment Corp. have gone through the Executive Health Program at Froedtert.

“I think it’s a huge competitive advantage that respects the time of our patients,” Gleeson said. “When they can come in and have a chest X-ray, blood work, a treadmill, a bone density test done, and have all or most of the results before 10 o’clock, you are running on a pretty tight schedule. I think our patients appreciate that.”


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