by Geoffrey Schick
The Future is in the Balance
Our Annual Meeting

With members and guests in attendance, our organization held its fourth public annual meeting at the Italian Community Center on September 30. The meeting, entitled, “The Future is in the Balance,” was highlighted by a keynote address by Dr. Roger Merrill, former chief medical officer at Perdue Farms and presently a principal with Merrill Health Strategies. The meeting also featured the presentation of the fourth Driving Meaningful Change Award to the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health (GMBFH) for its commitment to research on the cost, efficiency and quality of health care in southeast Wisconsin.

When I heard Dr. Merrill give an address at the annual meeting of the Midwest Business Group on Health shortly after I began my tenure with our organization, I knew I wanted him to give the keynote address at our annual meeting. I am happy to report he did not disappoint!

Dr. Merrill combined his wry sense of humor with his successful track record of driving improvement in the delivery of health and health care to present a no holds barred view of what ails our country’s health care delivery system. He then offered a clear prescription for what employers can and should do to create value in their health plan offerings. In his address, entitled, Health Delivery at an Enlightened Employer – It Can Be the Best of Times, Dr. Merrill detailed the efforts he spearheaded at Perdue Farms which included utilizing:

  • Onsite clinics;
  • A rigorous, science-based wellness program; and
  • An evidence-based benefit plan design.

These initiatives resulted in measurably improved health status of employees while maintaining health care cost increases at less than half the national average, with little year over year cost inflation.

The results of our post event survey revealed all attendees found the event time well spent. The meeting was a great example of the value the BHCG can bring to both our members and the community at large. Thank you to all attended. We look forward to seeing you at our annual meeting next year or at one of our other events throughout the year.

For more information about our annual meeting including Dr. Merrill’s slides, my slides, a photo gallery and an executive summary, please visit the Past Events Summaries page on our website.


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