October 21, 2020

Cleveland Clinic Florida President speaks at speaks at Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference

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fl-cleveland-clinic-ceo-20150412President of , Dr. Wael K. Barsoum, received a warm welcome as he spoke at the 7th Annual Healthcare Conference at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman on October 22, 2016. Dr. Barsoum encouraged Cayman’s employers and healthcare providers to promote individual responsibility and focus on wellness and healthy living.

“As healthcare professionals, we can do more to empower our patients to do their part. Healthcare has become expensive because patients are not incentivized to live a healthy lifestyle.” Dr. Barsoum said.

Dr. Barsoum noted that, in the Cayman Islands, the top causes of death are cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. “These conditions have risk factors that can be modified to improve quality of life and increase longevity,” he said.

“It is through conferences like this that we have a real opportunity to make an impact. The number of delegates at this three -day conference equates to almost 2 percent of the population of the Cayman Islands, which is a huge audience.” He continued, “I hope that my presentation has inspired the general public and stakeholders within the industry to make a change for the future of the population.”

During his presentation, ‘The Chapters of a Healthy Life: Change your chapter by modifying your behavior,’ Dr. Barsoum explored how the Caymanian community can take a more active role in managing their own , but also how healthcare providers can work hand in hand with their patients in order to reach health goals.

Dr. Barsoum pointed to his own workplace’s wellness program as an example for other employers and healthcare providers across the globe. Cleveland Clinic has implemented a tiered premium program to incentivize their employees to take action to improve their health through lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, weight reduction and better management of chronic non-communicable diseases. The program provides employees with the tools to resolve health problems in order to improve the quality of their health and save money on medical care in the long run. By implementing this system, Cleveland Clinic has seen a reduction in healthcare costs for its approximately 50,000 employees and their families.

Dr. Barsoum also said, “With incentives such as offering free gym membership and a weekly , Cleveland Clinic’s employees and their insured family members have lost a combined 500,000 pounds and our employee health costs have decreased.”

For Cayman residents who wish to help create this sort of change in their own community, Dr. Barsoum suggests that by “shifting our focus from managing acute episodes to managing patient populations and shifting from sick care to wellness and prevention, we will provide better care while at the same time empower patients to reduce the environmental risk factors that contribute to chronic disease.”

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IMAGE: Sun Sentinel2 Dr. Wael K. Barsoum

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