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Henry Ford Health System

Since 2012, the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) has been using the National Prevention Strategy (NPS)  to guide Henry Ford LiveWell (HF LiveWell), an agenda to improve the health of HFHS employees, patients, and surrounding communities. HFHS is an integrated nonprofit system serving the Detroit area by providing acute, specialty, primary, and preventive care; community health programs; and health insurance. With more than 23,000 employees, HFHS is the fifth largest employer in Metro Detroit.

Henry Ford's Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom speaking at their Sew Up the Safety Net for Women and Children Initiative event.

Henry Ford's Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom speaking at their Sew Up
the Safety Net for Women and Children Initiative event.

Strategic Planning

HFHS undertook a planning process to integrate wellness into the seven pillars of the Henry Ford experience: People, Service, Quality and Safety, Growth, Research and Education, Community, and Finance. The process revealed multiple opportunities to use the NPS framework in designing HF LiveWell. Notably, 87 percent of stakeholders felt it was essential to align HF LiveWell with health reform, of which the NPS is a key component.

Virtual Wellness Center

Today, the hallmark of HF LiveWell is a comprehensive, user-friendly website that addresses LiveWell’s strategic directions:

  • Engage and empower people
  • Incorporate wellness into clinical practice
  • Align and lead around health care policy
  • Expand the research knowledge base


The majority of HF LiveWell’s programs are framed around NPS Priorities. Many began with an employee wellness focus and will ultimately be extended to patients and the community; in this way HFHS can lead by example.

  • Tobacco Free Living: In 2007, HFHS adopted a tobacco-free campus policy. In 2013, the policy expanded to include nicotine-free hiring as well as a tobacco-free work day. In anticipation of these policy changes, HFHS offered free tobacco cessation services to employees and community members and cessation medications at a reduced price.
  • Healthy Eating: HFHS is working to provide healthier options in vending machines, cafés, and patient food services. By removing deep fat fryers, adjusting recipes, and purchasing leaner meat, HFHS reduced the amount of fat in café and patient meals by almost 7 tons between 2012 and 2013. In 2013, HFHS made a signed commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America Hospital Healthy Food Initiative. HFHS fulfills its commitment by offering nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, and other healthy food initiatives in the community.
  • Active Living: HFHS encourages employees to use treadmill desks and have walking meetings. HFHS also promotes 10-minute active work breaks through the evidence-based Instant Recess® program and is working with a variety of schools to combat inactivity using this strategy.

Although HF LiveWell incorporates each of the Strategic Directions and Priorities enumerated in the NPS into its efforts, one stands out for HFHS: “Our overall goal is the Elimination of Health Disparities, which is the NPS Strategic Direction that must emanate throughout all prevention activities,” says Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Senior Vice President of Community Health Equity and Chief Wellness Officer, and member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

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