All of Us

The Next Big Leap in Managing Health and Wellbeing

by Mike Critelli

At the MakeUsWell Network, we have focused on the need to increase public health attention to stress, anxiety and burnout. These are the triggers and precursors to serious mental health crises. Employers must always focus on what their leaders do to increase or decrease stress, anxiety and burnout for individual employees. 

Recently, we reflected on the death of Dee Edington, a trailblazer for all of us who wanted to get out ahead of population health issues, as opposed to addressing them in the healthcare system. The progress from crisis-driven mental health treatment, such as responses to attempted suicides, domestic violence, extended homelessness, substance dependence, or acts of public violence, to an effective preventive strategy that addresses population-level mental health issues preventively is at its earliest stages.

Historically, the first challenge for employers and other health plan providers was parity in health plan coverage for mental health treatments of all kinds. We are making good progress, but are far from the finish line, if for no other reason than the range of therapies available does not match the needs of our populations.

Dee Edington

by Mike Critelli

I learned on Thursday, June 23, 2022, that Dee Edington, the Director of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, died on June 22, 2022 at age 84. His impact is not adequately capturable in a recounting of his credentials, his accomplishments or even the words he committed to paper in his many publications. 

Dee believed that optimal health in all its dimensions was achievable and particularly understood that achieving health and wellbeing in any population was never primarily about healthcare or affordable health insurance. He focused on employers because he recognized that they have the greatest economic and business interest in the health and wellbeing of their employees. 

Tributes to Dee Edington

Dee Edington was a mentor to several members of the MakeUsWell Network. His work inspired many more. Please feel free to add your own thoughts about Dee and his work as comments at the end of this post.

Orphan Drugs

by Makeuswell

The “Rare” Or “Orphan” Disease Market Opportunity

Rare diseases affect 30 million people in the USA. And more than 300–400 million worldwide. They often cause chronic illness, disability, and premature death… A large number of rare disease patients [estimated 65-75%] remain undiagnosed for years and many even die without an accurate diagnosis. 

A guide for the diagnosis of rare and undiagnosed disease

“Orphan Drugs” are defined as drugs with a target patient population of less than 200,000 people or more than 200,000 people, but with a finding that research and development costs are unlikely to be recovered. They are usually developed to treat rare diseases.

Marketing Foods and Beverages

by Mike Critelli

To Achieve a Culture of Health, We Cannot Market “Health,” “Wellness” or “Nutrition."

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay wrote an article about doughnuts in workplace break areas used to lure workers back to the office. The sub-heading read, "Wellness, schmellness. Let’s promote the joy of glazed carbohydrates in the break room.” 

Rather than resisting this human frailty, we need to adapt to it. Healthy nutritional habits need to be as enjoyable, affordable, convenient, and socially supported as unhealthy ones.