A WellSpot is a place, space or organization in Louisiana that has implemented voluntary, smart changes to make healthier living easier for Louisiana citizens. An organization becomes a WellSpot by meeting wellness benchmarks that correspond to its organization type - worksites, child care centers, schools, colleges/universities, restaurants or hospitals. Click here to view the benchmarks for each organization type.
Once a certain number of benchmarks has been met, the Department of Health and Hospitals will recognize the organization as an official WellSpot. There are three levels of WellSpots. Level 1 is the highest level that can be achieved for an organization.
DHH staff work closely with restaurants, schools, child care centers, companies or other organizations that wish to become designated WellSpots to help them meet benchmarks. They will also verify that these organizations actually implement the policies and practices they indicate they have put in place.
The benefits to WellSpot designation are tremendous.
1. Publicity – All WellSpots become part of our Well-Ahead Network. Louisiana residents can use the Well-Ahead website to search for businesses or organizations that are making smart changes that prioritize wellness. They can also search for resources in their area that can help them achieve their health and wellness goals. Hosting a wellness related event? Post it to the network to allow local residents to easily find out about it!
In addition, WellSpots are given resources to assist them in promoting their designation and letting employees and visitors know that they are making smart changes that prioritize wellness. These resources include digital graphics, a sample press release, window clings, a designation certificate and a Stakeholder Toolkit.
2. Reduced health care costs – Implementing worksite wellness programs can bring down your health care costs as healthy employees are at less risk for developing chronic disease. Chronic diseases are those that have a prolonged duration and can generally be controlled, but rarely completely cured. These include things like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, obesity, etc.
3. A more productive work force – A healthy workforce is happier, can accomplish more in less time, and has fewer days lost to illness.
The Department of Health and Hospitals does not require any fees for being designated a WellSpot, and many changes may be free to implement - such as the tobacco-free policy. Other changes may come at a cost to the organization, business or school, but the Department believes those costs are greatly offset by the decrease in costs from health insurance and lost productivity and by the opportunity to improve the health and well-being of Louisiana residents. Making smart choices early on also helps save the state taxpayers future health care costs by reducing the need to treat chronic diseases caused by obesity.
Chronic diseases are those that have a prolonged duration and can generally be controlled, but rarely completely cured. These include things like cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, obesity, etc. Chronic disease cost Louisiana a total of $4.5 billion in 2003. Additionally, the economic loss caused by sick days and reduced productivity in Louisiana was $17.4 billion alone in the same time period. Adjusted for inflation, Louisiana drained an estimated $28 billion from the nation’s economy in 2013 in the form of treatment costs, economic loss and productivity loss.
If we made smarter choices together to improve our well-being, the Milken Institute predicted that we could avoid 612,000 cases of chronic conditions in 10 years. We could also reduce future economic costs by more than $17 billion in 2023, and we could increase Louisiana’s economic output by $62 billion by 2050.
Simply click “Become a WellSpot” to take an assessment and find out how close you already are to becoming a WellSpot! Once you’ve completed the assessment, you will be given:
1. a preliminary designation level based on your initial assessment answers and
2. an action plan to assist you in achieving additional benchmarks to reach your desired designation level.
Once you've completed your action plan, you'll take another assessment and upload all necessary benchmark documentation. At that point, you'll be given an official designation and materials to aid you in promoting your WellSpot designation.
Contact us at WellAhead@la.gov if you need help or have any additional questions. Our team is here to assist you!
The length of the process depends on which benchmarks you need to work towards meeting prior to designation. Most benchmarks are fairly simple to implement. Once all required documentation is submitted, you can expect to receive official designation at the level you apply for within five to seven business days.