Diabetes is among the biggest health crises we face in this country. Today, a startling 84 million Americans are pre-diabetic, meaning they’re at elevated risk of developing a disease that is a leading cause of death.
While this is a major health challenge for the entire country, the numbers we found among our Central Valley employees were particularly worrisome. An internal study found that half our employees were pre-diabetic and estimated that, without intervention, a staggering 87 percent would develop pre- or full diabetes by the time they reached their 50s.
To combat this crisis we started with research. After talking with our employees about the challenges they face, we understood that virtually none of them had access to the proper tools and care to make wellness a priority in their lives.
We knew to make a real difference, we had to apply the model of whole-person care. Our wraparound approach includes providing our employees with health coaches who can support the transition to healthy meals and teach the importance of regularly monitoring blood sugar. We also provided therapists who support emotional health, and doctors and nurses who regularly track progress and provide medication when necessary.
We’re already seeing incredible results. In 2015, 49 percent of our employees at Wonderful Citrus, Wonderful Orchards, and Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds were pre-diabetic. Today, we’ve reduced that number down by 45 percent. That’s life-changing for our employees and their families.