Technology, finance, flexibility guide vision of wellness futurists’

Planning processes seek entrenchment of wellness in corporate structure

[Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on wellness in the 21st century. See stories, pp. 14-20.]

Identifying the market forces and trends that will shape wellness in the next century is one thing. Crafting strategies for success in that new and challenging environment is quite another.

In our cover story last month, wellness experts from across the country pinpointed the key issues they see emerging beyond the year 2000. These issues include rapidly changing technology; continued tight budgets and smaller staffs; and a vastly changed role for the wellness professional — from employee to "internal consultant."

On the following pages, a second group of health promotion professionals share the strategies they are implementing today to ensure future success. Not surprisingly, they address many of these same issues.

One hospital wellness manager is harnessing the power of the Internet and multi-media technology to create a learning center that will help employees gain the knowledge they need for more effective self-care and disease management.

Another wellness manager, a health and productivity leader, is crafting a long-range strategic plan that will weave her efforts into each of her company’s departments. Another is going back to school to become an expert in complementary medicine so she will be better positioned for success — with or without her current employer.

Each professional tells a different story. Each one contains unique insights we hope you will find valuable as you make your own plans for the future. We’re anxious to have your reactions to these articles; once you’ve read them, let us know what you think. And if you’re involved in your own wellness "futurism," we want to hear about it. Maybe your program will be featured on these pages in a future issue.

We believe the future for wellness is extremely exciting, and the possibilities virtually limitless. Once you’ve read the following reports, we hope you’ll agree.