As the cost of healthcare continues to climb, doesn’t it make sense that businesses look for proactive ways to keep employees healthy rather than just paying to fix ailments when they arise? It is estimated that nearly 70% of all chronic diseases are preventable. The 2012 South Florida Worksite Wellness Forum and Awards committee is gearing up for its fourth annual awards event and has issued a call for nominations. All Florida based organizations from Orlando to Key West with documented worksite wellness programs are encouraged to apply. Hosted by the Florida Heart Research Institute in partnership with the Miami-Dade County Health Department’s Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, this year’s event will be held at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa on Friday, April 20th. The purpose of the event is twofold: to recognize leading Florida-based businesses that have demonstrated positive outcomes from their worksite wellness programs and to encourage more businesses to enter the wellness programming arena. Research has shown that after a few years, targeted worksite wellness programs can have a $1 to $3 return on investment. Wellness programs don’t have to cost a fortune and businesses benefit from happier, more productive employees.

The educational content this year is dynamic. Michael O’Donnell, Founder of the American Journal of Health Promotion and major influencer in the health and wellness legislative agenda at the national level will be the Keynote Speaker for the awards luncheon discussing the “Financial Benefits to Worksite Wellness”. New to the event is a morning conference with breakfast and two educational workshops and the opportunity to earn CHES and HR credits. The first workshop, is called “Selling Wellness to Your CFO” by Jim Wachtel, National Sales Director of HealthCheck360 and the second is called “Legal Dos and Don’ts of Workplace Wellness by Peter J. Marathas, Esq., Partner, Proskauer. Both the luncheon and the morning workshops will be accompanied by exhibitors displaying their health and wellness products and services to help organizations strengthen their wellness programs.

All nominated organizations are encouraged to attend and will receive a free ticket to the morning workshops for each paid purchase of the luncheon for up to two people. Additional attendees must pay regular admission prices. The cost for the morning breakfast and workshops is $65 and the cost for the Awards Luncheon is $65 – a ticket to attend both costs $110.

Deadline for nominations is Friday March 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm. Deadline for sponsorships is Friday, March 30, 2012. For more information, go to www.worksitewellnessawards.org or email tori@floridaheart.org.