A Problem of Epic Proportion
An epidemic is rapidly deteriorating our health
We see a generation of young Americans whose life expectancy is less than their parents, and who will never realize their full potential. The environment into which we’re born is toxic, with poorer nutrition, decreasing levels of physical activity, daily stress of poverty and violence, disintegrating support networks and a surge in mental health problems. Where intergenerational transfer of disease is typically blamed on failings of nature (genetics) or nurture (how a child is raised), emerging science tells us to also consider a third dimension: pregnancy and the fetal origins of health and disease.
Healthcare costs are fueling an economic crisis
As our country’s health crisis worsens, the escalating healthcare costs are fueling an economic crisis that is epic in scale. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75 percent of health care costs are due to chronic conditions.
The trend is getting worse by the day. Direct expenditures for treatment of chronic diseases total $277 billion per year. If we remain on our current path, there will be a 42 percent increase in chronic disease cases by 2023.*
Our healthcare system is at odds with this crisis
Prevention is a path to both true wellness and meaningful healthcare reform. But our healthcare system is designed to treat symptoms rather than deal with root causes. There is more money to be made through treatment of chronic disease than there is through prevention and wellness. To change this paradigm, we must create economic incentives and rewards to promote wellness and align resources based upon health outcomes rather than reimbursement for procedures.
*“An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease – Charting a New Course to Save Lives and Increase Productivity and Economic Growth,” Ross DeVol and Armen Bedroussian, with Anita Charuworn, Anusuya Chatterjee, In Kyu Kim, Soojung Kim and Kevin Klowden, the Milkan Institute, October 2007.
Pragmatic Solutions to Vexing Societal Problems
We must shift the standard of care
The onset of chronic diseases can be significantly delayed, in some cases prevented, and their impact and progression can be slowed when a “circle of care” exists to encourage adults, children and especially expectant moms to attend to their nutrition, exercise and emotional health in a way that supports healthy metabolism.
This is what we call the “Wellness Algorithm,” and it is grounded in a belief that sustained physical health is inseparable from social and emotional health, which depend upon regular human contact and healthy human connections.
Our approach: evidence, action and scale
Contact Wellness builds the body of evidence to prove that chronic diseases can essentially be prevented or delayed through a combination of good nutrition and regular physical activity when these conventional strategies are supported by the third essential element: ongoing small group contact.
We turn this evidence into action by funding, organizing and supporting partners committed to implementing game-changing solutions to wellness.
Finally we take breakthrough solutions to scale by leveraging our entrepreneurial experience to create new ways of funding prevention.