Esther Dyson’s ‘Way to Wellville’ Challenge a game changer

Here’s an exciting fresh approach to transforming the health of our communities.

“The Way to Wellville, a national challenge among five communities over five years to make significant, visible and lasting improvement in five measures of health and economic vitality. In the end, we’ll map new paths for entire communities to make changes that result in healthier people and places.”

This challenge effectively shifts the healthcare discussion to actionable, results-driven, community-based wellness initiatives, in a way that scales.

At present the US is spending a whopping $3 trillion per year on health care — on average about twice as much per person as other wealthy nations spend — and yet chronic disease, which is largely preventable, continues to worsen and drive costs higher still.

Investing in wellness can potentially yield significant savings to society, with savings in direct healthcare costs just the tip of the iceberg. See for example the CDC’s The Cost of Chronic Diseases and Health Risk Behaviors. Among the many benefits of improving health across the board, one might expect to see economic indicators in these Wellville counties begin to reflect increased productivity (healthier workforce), improved school performance  (healthy children and children in healthy families show up ready to learn), and increased wealth that comes to places deemed desirable locations to invest, live, work, visit, and more.  Reengineering investments in our nation’s health care using a community-based, collaborative, entrepreneurial, ‘wellness first’ approach is brilliant.

esther-dyson-1

Wellville Founder Esther Dyson

The Way to Wellville is sponsored by Esther Dyson’s non-profit HICCup, which serves as a central support platform for the five chosen counties, and includes Wellville accelerators such as attracting investors and innovation partners to the table, and matching them up with specific initiatives in those counties.

Perhaps in a future post we’ll take a closer look at the innovation approach driving the transformations.

Learn more

Who are the chosen Five? How does it work? For starters see:

Wellville Website | Short Video | Press release

For more about this unique approach, see:

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