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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Business Leaders Must Set Healthy Example for Employees

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

A recent study by the United Way found that 64 percent of Tarrant County adults are overweight or obese, higher than the state and national average. These adults are at a greater risk for diabetes, heart disease and strokes, among other illnesses.

As a CEO of a 17,000-employee nonprofit health care system, I am keenly aware that obesity is a burden for individuals and businesses – not only in Tarrant County, but across North Texas.

Knowing this, the statistics made me wonder: Am I doing all I can to set an example for my fellow employees? I know firsthand that when my family time is limited due to work obligations, it can be difficult to fit in 30 minutes of exercise a day or to eat a nutritious meal on the run.

Yet, I realize that as a leader in my organization I need to lead the way in health issues as well. Texas Health Resources’ employees won’t take me seriously when I talk about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle if I’m not walking the walk.

So here’s my challenge to business leaders across North Texas: Take the time to evaluate what you’re doing to set an example for your employees. The benefits to your health and your business will be well worth the effort.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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