Industry News: Volume 3 Issue 22

PRESS RELEASE: First Annual Thought Leadership & Innovation Foundation Awards Honor Excellence in Health, Education and Economic Empowerment

For more details and to apply for the Ignite Innovation Award or Oldham Family Thought Leadership Award visit

MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Inaugurating a national annual program to recognize and honor individuals, companies and organizations that exemplify innovation and excellence to improve or transform health, advance educational opportunities and support economic empowerment, the Thought Leadership & Innovation Foundation (TLI) today announced two significant awards:

  • The Ignite Innovation Award honors excellence and practical application of an innovative new product, service line or project development, human-centered design or transformation process through a pilot or prototype program or a marketed product designed to advance health, education or economic empowerment in the United States.
  • The Oldham Family Thought Leadership Award honors individual or organizational excellence and leadership in the innovation and transformation of health, education or economic empowerment in the United States.

The benefits for award recipients include opportunities to network with other honorees and TLI Fellows, community recognition as a thought leader and innovator, significant career recognition to enhance resume, business and social networking sites, featured as an honoree on the TLI website and in a press release, a badge to display on their website, opportunities to be featured in local media and acceptance into the TLI Innovation Hub pipeline.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of entry and must be a U.S. resident. The closing date for applications is September 15, 2019, and winners will be announced on November 5, 2019. There is no application fee.

“These awards reinforce our mission to improve the human condition in a significant way as we continue to seek new partners and foster those who share our commitment to innovation, collaboration and the implementation of ideas and approaches that solve issues in a way that is deeply human-centered and empowering for individuals and communities,” says Bill Oldham, founder and chairman of the Board, TLI. “While we are seeking compelling stories and actionable lessons learned, we are also looking for award applicants who exhibit creativity, perseverance and passion.”

He adds that the awards demonstrate TLI’s commitment to building grant programs around the capability of the award recipients.

“We are excited to get our search underway for people and organizations who want to share their knowledge, research, engagement strategies and value systems in a way that is culturally relevant and globally responsible,” Oldham concludes.

Partnership and sponsorship opportunities are now available. Contact us to learn more.

About TLI Foundation

TLI Foundation is a nonprofit foundation focused on driving innovative thinking and action on global issues relating to health, education and economic empowerment. The organization is committed to fostering transformative change and improving the health and well-being outcomes of communities around the world. Visit

PRESS RELEASE: Thousands of Optum Employee Volunteers Partner with Local Nonprofits in Five Countries to Help Reduce Health Disparities During Annual Day of Giving

  • Global effort part of companywide initiative to help people live healthier lives by addressing social determinants of health

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Optum employee volunteers in the United States and around the world worked to make a difference in local communities where they work and live.

During the company’s second-annual global giving day, more than 3,400 employees in five countries volunteered to support 44 domestic and international nonprofits to help people live healthier lives, reduce health disparities and address the social determinants of health.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nearly 80 percent of what influences a person’s health relates to nonmedical issues such as food, housing, transportation, and the financial means to pay for medications, utilities and other services.

“Much of what influences a person’s health happens outside the doctor’s office,” said Laura Ness, chief of operations, Optum. “By partnering with these socially minded organizations that understand the value of good health, our employees are demonstrating how public-private partnerships can succeed in helping make a positive impact in communities around the world.”

The work of Optum volunteers during its annual giving day ranged from conducting nutritional assessments for children in Cebu, Philippines, and reading to the blind in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to packaging meals for children and the homeless in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and Brentwood, Tennessee. Additional volunteer activities included:

  • reading stories and preparing meals with Lakshyam, a nonprofit in Gurgaon, India, that helps lift children and women out of poverty;
  • serving meals for underprivileged college students with the El Meson de Amor Project in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which helps students in underserved communities achieve their higher-education goals;
  • hosting football matches where players donated funds to The Simon Community, a nonprofit in Ireland that provides supportive services that help people access and retain a home;
  • raising funds in office locations globally and supporting virtual fundraising efforts to purchase rice for FreeRice, a global nonprofit that provides rice to people in need around the world; and
  • handing out bags of prepackaged groceries and food items for the underserved and homeless with the Frederick Food Bank of Maryland.

“The support from Optum and its employees goes beyond what they have done today in preparing food and serving meals to families in need,” said Liz Tenpas, director of development, The Sheridan Story. “Optum employees help our organization throughout the year, and their support of our mission to fight child hunger is helping lift up people in need by addressing social factors that can improve their lives.”

“Our mission in helping enhance the lives of disadvantaged children and women in India couldn’t be achieved without the support of volunteers and community partners like Optum,” said Raashi Aanand, founder of Lakshyam. “The personal interaction through storytelling and helping provide nutritious meals is making a meaningful impact on their lives.”

According to a 2017 report by UnitedHealthcare and VolunteerMatch, employee volunteerism positively affects the health and well-being of the people who participate, and strengthens their connections to their employers. The study also found that almost three-fourths of employees who volunteer through work report feeling better about their employer, and 91 percent believe it is important for an employer to allow employees to volunteer on company time.

Optum’s global day of giving included coordinating employee volunteer events and activities in 36 locations in six distinct geographies worldwide that included 14 communities in Brazil, India, Ireland, the Philippines and 20 communities in the United States. Employees, regardless of their location, were able to participate, helping nonprofit organizations, such as the World Food Programme’s FreeRice campaign, through virtual support and donations.

About Optum 
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 165,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). For more information, visit

To view the original press release, click here.

Healthcare costs for families with employer coverage up 67% since 2008: study 

by Paige Minemyer – Healthcare costs for families with employer coverage have risen twice as fast as wages and three times the rate of inflation over the past decade, according to a new report.

In 2018, an average family of four with an employer plan spent $4,706 on premiums and $3,020 on cost-sharing, the Kaiser Family Foundation found. By comparison, a family of four spent $2,838 on premiums and $1,779 in cost-sharing in 2008.

That’s an increase of 67% in costs for benefits and care in those 10 years. In that same window, wages increased by 31% and the inflation rate was 21%.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Inpatient Hospital Prices Rose 19%, Outpacing Physician Prices

By Jacqueline LaPointe – A new analysis of hospital inpatient claims for individuals with employer coverage revealed that consumers and employers are paying significantly more for hospital-based inpatient services largely because of hospital prices.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Trump gives boost to state drug import plans

By NATHANIEL WEIXEL – The Trump administration has softened its stance on drug importation, giving a boost to states that want to curb rising drug prices by importing medications from Canada.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

The US Military Wants To Coordinate Health Care Solutions In Pacific Islands

By Anita Hofschneider – The U.S. military is launching a new effort to support and coordinate health care efforts across Pacific islands, where even on American soil health services and outcomes lag far behind U.S. states.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

A new study debunks the idea that the US spends more on healthcare because it doesn’t spend enough on social services

By Clarrie Feinstein – The US spends a lot on healthcare, almost double the amount of other high-income countries, according to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs.

The statistic led Irene Papanicolas, a co-author on the study, to delve into the topic to see what makes the US spend so much more on healthcare.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.