“At Marathon Health, our mission is to inspire people to lead healthier lives. In turn, we help employers stabilize healthcare costs. It’s a simple equation that yields powerful results.
Evidence of this is apparent in the progress employees are making at PC Construction, one of our earliest clients. At PC Construction, we provide employees with one-on-one health coaching and disease management. The clinicians work with everyone, but place special emphasis on those with high health risks, such as smokers or diabetics, and help them fashion a plan to eat better, exercise more, and live healthier, more productive lives.
Of those PC Construction employees considered high risks for diabetes and hypertension, 66 percent made progress toward normal glucose and diastolic blood pressure levels in the last year, significantly reducing their risks for those conditions.
Another area where progress has been made is smoking cessation, however, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Smoking is common in the building trades. The national rate is 21 percent of the workforce.
When someone comes to the clinic for a Comprehensive Health Review and is interested in learning about ways to quit, we start by asking the person to tell us what their hopes are for quitting, what they’ve tried in the past, what has worked, and what hasn’t. Building a person’s confidence and identifying if they feel they’re ready to quit is key to a successful attempt. Each person is different, so they are given a quiz that indicates their dependence level and helps them determine which one of the following methods may be best for them.
- Method #1: Cold Turkey
- Method #2: Reducing nicotine intake gradually with nicotine fading (switching to light or ultra-light cigarettes and reducing the number smoked per day)
- Method #3: Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which includes nicotine gum, nicotine patches, inhaler or lozenge or another quit-smoking aid like Chantix or Zyban
- Method #4: Face-to-face or telephonic coaching has been shown to increase success rates—we combine this with one of the above methods to provide support and consistency, especially at the beginning stages of quitting. We typically start coaching once a week for the first several weeks, go to every 2 weeks, and then taper down as the person feels it is right for them.
Let’s face it, tobacco use, whether cigarettes or of the smokeless variety, is very visible in our world. The key is to help people understand the risks tobacco poses to their health and craft a quitting plan designed specifically to help them succeed.”