Cummins LiveWell Center Off to Promising Start by Focusing on Healthy Lifestyles
CUMMINS RISK INSURANCE COORDINATOR CHRISTINA ECKERT HAS STRUGGLED WITH WEIGHT HER ENTIRE LIFE.
“When I lost a little, I’d catapult right back up the scale as soon as I stopped sacrificing,” she said. “In June 2016, I also had severe lower back pain and a torn heel. It hurt to walk, so I walked less. Then the Cummins LiveWell Center opened.”
With the help of the Center’s health coaches, physical therapists, exercise physiologist and the teaching kitchen chef, Eckert has seen dramatic results. In 11 months, she lost 75 pounds and her lab results are now within normal ranges. She is exactly the type of success story Cummins leaders had hoped for when they opened the 28,000 square foot facility a year ago this month for employees and their families in the company’s headquarters city of Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.).
Operated by Premise Health on behalf of Cummins, the facility offers a broad range of services and providers work together in a lifestyle practice to get to the root of each patient’s health care issues, treating the cause of disease rather than just tackling the symptoms.
Patients learn how to prevent and even reverse disease by addressing lifestyle choices such as what they eat, how much physical activity they get, getting enough sleep and managing stress, among other things.
In just the first nine months of operation, the facility saw over 6,500 patients, and is operating at a capacity that wasn’t anticipated until its fourth year of operations. As a result, additional staff has been hired to meet the demand. Most importantly, patients are seeing results, including several cases where Type 2 diabetes patients have eliminated their dependence on insulin.
“For several years, Cummins leadership had been frustrated with health care costs that continued to increase without seeing a similar improvement in employee health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Dexter Shurney, Chief Medical Director and Executive Director of Global Health and Wellness at Cummins. “We wanted to make lifestyle medicine, education and training the foundational element of our overall health care strategy and the LiveWell Center is an important part of that strategy.”
Services at the Center include primary care, rotating specialists, acupuncture, chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy, exercise physiology, health coaching, behavioral health, dermatology, optometry and occupational health. In addition, the concept of “food as medicine,” is actively promoted through the center’s onsite teaching kitchen – available for classes or one-on-one sessions with the chef to learn how to cook quick, affordable, healthy and delicious meals.
“We will use the successes and lessons learned at LiveWell as we introduce the lifestyle medicine approach to all employees this year,” Shurney said. “We’re going to provide the tools and resources to engage them and their families to choose the healthy lifestyle behaviors that interest them the most and could make the most impact on their lives.”