Neil Goldfarb, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health (GPBCH), previews the upcoming GPBCH Wellness Summit taking place on September 14, 2023.
Neil Goldfarb, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health (GPBCH), previewed the upcoming GPBCH Wellness Summit taking place on September 14, 2023. The summit features a packed agenda covering topics including mental health, sleep, building a culture of health in the workplace, adolescent health, and health equity.
What can attendees look forward to at the 2023 GPBCH Wellness Summit?
We're excited to be offering our annual Wellness Summit on September 14, and this year, we've got an agenda that really encompasses a wide range of topics that should be of interest and importance to employers. The idea of our Wellness Summit is, our mission as a business coalition is to help employers keep the population healthy—and recognizing that they will still need care, make sure that care is accessible, high quality, equitable, affordable, and safe.
As I've worked in health care for many years, and as a coalition director for 11 years now, I've realized that there's only so much that we're going to be able to do to control the costs of health care from a perspective of lowering the cost of hospitalization or lowering the cost of other types of care. There is room to do that and to eliminate waste and ensure utilization is appropriate, but the best way to lower costs as an employer is to keep people healthy. And so I think we're really trying to get at, in this year's agenda, many different strategies that employers can be implementing to support a healthy workforce and a healthy community.
The agenda includes a range of topics, including driving health equity in wellness programs, improving sleep management, improving mental health—which we know is of great importance to employers—[and] building cultures of health within organizations. These are topics that we think resonate with employers and that we've come up with specific strategies that employers can use. We're also going to be addressing segments of the population that may be currently underserved or not recognized in employer wellness programs—one example being adolescent health and the fact that many employers have focused on their workers when they also need to be focused on the next generation of workers and making sure that they get appropriate preventive care, that we intervene early to promote healthy lifestyles, to discourage smoking, to encourage exercise and healthy eating. And so we're going to have a great session on addressing adolescent health and what employers can do.
What networking opportunities will be taking place for attendees of the summit?
We expect around 150 to 200 attendees for this event. That includes coalition employer members and affiliate members, so people from health plans, benefits consultants, pharmaceutical manufacturers, service vendors—all people who come together with a passion for improving population health. And we've got built into the agenda nearly 2 hours of time for attendees to network with each other, with our sponsor exhibitors—we will have around 18 exhibitors who are offering cutting-edge solutions in the health and well-being area—and we hope that employers will not only learn from the speakers, but also learn from each other and learn from the sponsor exhibitors who will be in the room with us throughout the day.
We're also going to have a fun activity at lunchtime to get employers talking with each other to identify best practices that they've implemented in their own workplaces. And we'll be documenting the best of the best and then getting that out to our members after the event. So it should be a lot of fun, as always, for people, and not just a bunch of talking heads throughout the day.