NASHVILLE – Community and business leaders from across Nashville gathered today to assess and broaden the discussion about how to improve health and quality of life in Nashville at “Health and Well-Being: Keys to Transformation,” presented by the Nashville Health Care Council, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Center for Health Transformation. The event joined together national experts with public, private and non-profit stakeholders to broaden the dialogue and begin an unprecedented, long-term collaboration between community, business and government leaders to improve well-being in Nashville.
“I’m pleased to see the heightened level of focus this event brings to improving the well-being of our citizens,” said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. “At the state level, it’s encouraging to see activities like this that set the bar for meaningful initiatives that can be adopted by communities all across Tennessee.”
When it comes to the health and well-being of its citizens, in Nashville – and, indeed, all of Tennessee – there is significant room for improvement. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index™, Tennessee ranks 42nd out of the 50 states and Nashville ranks 84th of 184 major metropolitan areas evaluated.
“The inclusion of a diverse group of community and business leaders shows broad-base commitment to improving the health and wellness of Nashvillians and determining next steps together,” said Mayor of Nashville and Davidson County Karl Dean. “This effort, along with our Livability Project and the Healthy Nashville Leadership council, can capitalize on the momentum of the day and make significant strides in working to address well-being in the city.”
The event brought together national leaders and experts on community health and well-being, such as former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and internationally-renowned author and researcher Dan Buettner, with prominent local and state stakeholders, individuals who will play key roles in engineering a healthier Nashville. Keynote speaker Newt Gingrich, in his role as the founder of the Center for Health Transformation, spoke about the role of collaboration between private and public sector leaders. At the Center for Health Transformation, Gingrich has committed to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money for all Americans.
“It is crucial to unite stakeholders across the spectrum, from businesses to non-profit organizations to government agencies, with a shared vision in order to transform the Nashville community,” said Gingrich. “Reactionary fixes will not work. We need a system-wide transformation that is individual-centered, focuses on health not just healthcare and fosters higher quality, greater transparency and more innovation. ”
Many Southern cities and states have low health indicators, with five states in the Southeast ranking near the bottom for well-being status as measured by the Well-Being Index. This can be attributed to many factors, including socioeconomic status and culture. Nashville has taken the first step in addressing low health and well-being indicators – broadening the dialogue to address the issue citywide.
Healthways CEO and vice-chair of the Nashville Health Care Council Board of Directors Ben Leedle shared a real-time view of well-being both in the Nashville metropolitan area and statewide based on Well-Being Index findings.
“Keys to Transformation is an important demonstration of Nashville’s commitment to its people,” said Leedle. “Real change around health and well-being in Nashville is possible when the community has the resolve to take control of its health. I know working together we can accomplish great things.”
The Nashville Health Care Council and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce worked with the Center for Health Transformation to offer access to these and other national experts to attendees who represented various sectors of the Nashville community to learn best practices for transforming health and well-being for the betterment of all Nashville residents.
“We are excited by the opportunity to achieve real, meaningful change through the efforts of community and thought leaders of Nashville,” said Caroline Young, president of the Nashville Health Care Council. “We look forward to continuing this dialogue and collaborative activity for the betterment of the Nashville community.”
“Today’s event provides a great forum for discussing both the barriers and opportunities for improving Nashville’s health and well-being. Our city and state officials have already been working to address this issue, and bringing additional community and business leaders together provides even greater momentum for these efforts,” said Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Health indicators are not just important from an individual standpoint – they also play an important role in economic development. When companies are looking to relocate, they consider many factors, including the cost of doing business, location and quality of life.”
The Council and Chamber are actively collaborating with organizations who have already been working productively to improve well-being in Nashville, including Metro Public Health, the Livable Community Task Force and the Healthy Nashville Leadership Council, to find more opportunities to facilitate community cooperation.
The Nashville Health Care Council, an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. Learn more at www.healthcarecouncil.com.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing 2,300 member companies in 10 counties. For more information, please visit www.nashvillechamber.com.
The Center for Health Transformation is a high-impact collaboration of private and public sector leaders committed to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money for all Americans. Visit www.healthtransformation.net to find more information.