Recap: Better Regional Health Outcomes and Cost Management for Business

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Detroit Regional Chamber and Wellness works hosted an Employer Forum in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of MichiganStephanie Holzwarth from Maven Clinic, Susann Schlotterback from Merck, and Kate Fisher from Cummins, Inc., provided their insights on how to reduce overall healthcare costs for businesses and tackle national and regional health threats while improving employee well-being and productivity.  

Holzwarth shared how Maven is bridging the gap in women’s healthcare throughout the journey of building a family. Because women make up 56.8% of the workforce population and the labor force participation rate of mothers with children under age 18 was 72.9% in 2022, a focus on women and family health care is imperative. Companies are now beginning to consider more than just the standard health benefits packages and maternity leave, with emphasis being placed on conception resources, mental health help, and specialists such as lactation consultants. Addressing the gaps demographically, regionally, and nationwide has never been more important.  

The Facts 

  • Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes. 
  • 36% of U.S countries are maternity care deserts. 
  • $23,000 is the average cost of fertility treatment in the U.S. 
  • 17% of women have left or are considering leaving work due to menopause symptoms. 
  • 64% of employees have missed work in the past year because of their family health needs. 

Employee absenteeism, turnover, and prolonged time off can all be attributed to family health needs, which can be reduced by improved access to the right healthcare resources. Fisher shared that the more her organization invested in wellness and allocating the right resources, the more engaged and productive their employees became. 

Tips for Employers 

  • Integrate family health needs with HR. 
  • Allow a space for parents and parents-to-be in your DEI efforts. 
  • Take an outcomes-driven approach drives down costs for the employee and employer. 
  • Remember that one-size fits one-care. 
  • No journey is linear, keep this in mind when supporting your employees. 
  • There are several different paths to parenthood to consider. 
  • Make resources accessible and provide quick response times. 
  • Support is more than just financial. Be sure to consider emotional, mental, and physical well-being. 

Interested in Maven’s approach to care including 24/7 clinical, emotional, and financial support across the family journey? Click here to visit their website for more information. 


Allocating the Right Resources 

Panelists discussed the state of healthcare in the workplace today and why it matters to gather as healthcare professionals. Among all the industries represented on the panel, it was clear that employees value their health over other things. Additionally, 8% of employers ranked health-related benefits as “very important” or “extremely important,” prioritizing it above retirement savings, leave, family care, education, and transportation benefits.  

Merck is leading by example with their development of an HPV vaccination. As a result of their efforts toward educating employers on the benefits of the vaccine and providing resources, nationwide, “infections with HPV types that cause most HPV cancers and genital warts have dropped 88% among teen girls and 81% among young adult women.” (CDC 


 Links to Resources: 

There has never been a better time to focus on the health of your workplace than now. 

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