Hey Milwaukee, how’s your health?

The rapidly increasing rate of health care costs is an issue that hits home for everyone. Many companies are seeing a negative impact on their bottom lines and, often, employees are feeling the effects of reduced benefits, higher premiums or higher co-pays.
As a result, the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health Inc. (GMBFH), believes it is important that we, as a community, explore new ways to address the issues of individual health and affordable, quality, health care.
From March 1 through April 16, GMBFH is sponsoring "How’s Your Health, Greater Milwaukee?" We are encouraging all citizens of the greater Milwaukee area to go to www.howsyourhealth.org during this six-week period.
The City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County each have issued a proclamation urging all public and private institutions in greater Milwaukee to do the same.
At www.howsyourhealth.org, you’ll find a Web-based survey designed to help citizens become better health care consumers. The feedback provided will allow individuals to become more aware of their own health issues, facilitate clearer communication with their medical providers and be more proactive in keeping health care costs down.
It is an anonymous, confidential and enjoyable survey that asks questions about your physical health and overall well-being. Based on your answers, the Web site will provide you with a personalized education packet along with steps you can take to prevent illness.
You’ll also get an "Action Form" that can help you communicate more effectively with your doctors so that you can make the most of each appointment and check-up.
The story doesn’t end there. By analyzing the anonymous data available in aggregate form through the surveys, a team of medical experts will diagnose what’s right and what can be improved in Milwaukee area health care.
They will then develop action strategies to help the local medical community better address the health care needs of local residents. The end result: better communication between doctors and patients, as well as reduced health care costs.
Employers and employees, as well as other community entities and citizens, need to work together to hold the line on skyrocketing health care costs. "How’s Your Health, Greater Milwaukee?" is a unique, broad-based community initiative that can help unite us to make a difference.

To get started with the survey, or for more information, log onto www.howsyourhealth.org.

Jim Wrocklage is executive director of Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health Inc., Hartland.

Feb. 20, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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