Health Madness: Our Prescription for Good Health

Voting is now closed. Read the final blog post to find out the champion of Health Madness.

In Kansas City, it’s common to find a Wildcat, a Jayhawk and a Tiger all working side by side in harmony.

But when college football and basketball seasons roll around, that harmonious relationship can turn to one of competition and fierce loyalty as fans back their favorite team. We’re no different here at Health Forward, now that we have March Madness excitement pumping through our veins.

Introducing Health Forward’s Wellness Tournament: Health Madness
The Health Forward Foundation is dedicated to its mission of eliminating barriers and promoting quality health. Prevention is core to this mission. Because we believe so strongly in prevention (and because we love our college basketball here in the heart of the Midwest), we’ve decided to host our own Wellness Tournament called Health Madness, where 64 prevention strategies will go head to head in a battle to the championship, but only one strategy will be crowned victorious.

Health Forward recognizes that good health comes not just from receiving quality medical care but from stopping disease. While the recent health care reform debates were driven primarily by concerns about the unsustainable cost of health care, cost-containment efforts do not alone solve the long-term problems that ail our health care system. Investing in prevention is the prescription for reducing costs and improving health outcomes.

A majority of the most costly health conditions are preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases (such as cancer and heart disease), and almost one out of every two adults has at least one chronic illness, many of which are preventable. Yet, of the more than $1.7 trillion in health care spent nationally every year, less than 4 cents of every dollar is spent on prevention (CDC).

Prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives, including where we live, learn, work and play. Everyone—individuals, government, businesses, educators, health care institutions—has a role in creating healthier homes, workplaces, schools and communities.

We hope Health Madness gives you an opportunity to support the prevention strategies closest to your heart, and raise awareness about how organizations are working to make communities healthy.

The Rules
So, how does this work? Well, our Health Forward team of expert associates vetted 64 prevention strategies to compete in the Wellness Tournament. Much like the NCAA Tournament bracket, strategies (or teams) are divided into four regions/divisions:

  • Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL)
  • Tobacco Use
  • Mental Health
  • Physical and Oral Health

First, print out and complete a Health Madness bracket. Some of these prevention strategies may be less familiar, so you may want to review the descriptions.

Now, it’s your turn to decide who will win each game by voting for your favorite prevention strategy. We will host open voting on our website, tally the votes and update the bracket as each round of voting ends. Live voting begins bright and early March 21 at 7:30 a.m.

Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter to get updates on the matchups and voting schedule.

Finally, help spread the word about Health Madness to your friends, colleagues and family members.

We think all these prevention strategies are winning ideas, but which will be the voters’ favorite? Stay tuned to find out!


Health Forward

Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006