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Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Senior Writer

msanchez@mibiz.com

West Michigan employers who submitted entries in MiBiz’s annual Healthiest Employers Awards collectively scored below the average of their peers around the nation. The West Michigan entries received a composite score of 45.93, which compares to a national score of 48.74 on a scale zero to 100, according to Healthiest Employer LLC, the Indianapolis-based group that conducts the awards with partners in 46 markets across the nation that drew entries from some 1,800 employers. The index compiled by Healthiest Employer is based on 65 questions that can generate up to 600 points for an entry. MiBiz spoke with Healthiest Employer CEO Rod Reason to discuss the local results.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s partnership with an arm of WebMD Health Corp. could help to extend wellness into an area where it’s gained the least traction: small businesses.

Companies put a lot of resources and time into creating wellness programs, but even the best planning cannot guarantee that employees will get involved.

Proposed regulations from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would provide employers some clarity as they look to avoid the scrutiny of federal regulators who are on guard for corporate wellness programs that they believe go too far.

Wellness is no longer just about getting employees to lose excess weight, exercise more or eat better to improve their physical health and maybe trim the company’s health-care costs.

In launching a joint degree this fall in osteopathic medicine and business, Michigan State University seeks to produce better doctors.

Baker College plans to launch an online graduate degree this fall for nurses who want to continue their education and move into administrative or teaching positions.

Michigan’s big three research universities again compare favorably overall to their national peers in terms of innovation, although more progress needs to occur in getting those ideas from the lab to the marketplace.

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