Booz Allen Hamilton and Business Leaders Explore Workplace Solutions for
Preventing Diabetes in the UAE
A leading provider of management and technology consulting services convened
business leaders in the UAE to identify effective workforce strategies to
ensure well-being of employees and long-term economic competitiveness of the
Snapshot of overarching conclusions from the event:
*Organizations cannot take a “one size fits all” approach to implementing
corporate wellness programs.
*Leadership is critical for motivating behavior change.
*Comprehensive wellness programs should not be limited to solutions that
take place within the workplace.
*Engagement across all sectors of society, coupled with
culturally-sensitive methods, will help to create a sense of public
urgency about diabetes and foster immediate, sustainable impacts.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- November 14, 2012
World Diabetes Day is marked each year on November 14 by the World Health
Organization, the International Diabetes Federation and other global actors as
a means for raising awareness about the growing diabetes crisis around the
world. Diabetes affects 346 million people internationally and this number
will double by 2030 without proper intervention and care. On World Diabetes
Day, Booz Allen Hamilton announced the conclusions from a recent dialogue on
the disease’s impact in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where
32.8 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes as of 2011, and this
number is expected to increase by 83% to 59.7 million by 2030.
To foster collaborative solutions to the diabetes crisis, Booz Allen Hamilton
convened executives from leading companies operating in the UAE on November 5,
2012, at the St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi for the “Diabetes in the UAE:
Workplace Strategies Tabletop” event. Participants in this half-day event
included representatives from the food and beverage, hospitality,
pharmaceutical, and health care industries. The group engaged in a dynamic,
participant-driven simulation exercise designed to provide stakeholders an
opportunity to explore cooperative strategies about how to effectively address
the growing problem of diabetes amongst employees and their families.
Grant McLaughlin, a Booz Allen Hamilton Vice President who facilitated the
event, commented: “Unless action is taken immediately, even larger numbers of
people in the UAE will continue to be impacted by diabetes. It is vital that
the private sector, which is greatly impacted by the costs of providing
insurance and of lost employee productivity, play a critical role within the
country to take collective action across society to address this growing
public health issue.”
During the event, participants conducted a simulation in which they each acted
as managers of a fictional multinational corporation operating in UAE and had
to make choices to address employee health circumstances in near-, mid- and
long-term time frames. Participants had the opportunity to evaluate and
prioritize choices from a menu of programs that could help their employees.
Recommended programs were designed specifically for this event by Booz Allen
Hamilton subject matter experts and focused on nutrition, fitness, mobile
health, disease management, screening, cash incentives, and awareness.
Discussion among participants revealed numerous broader themes around
approaches to corporate wellness programs and the type of leadership necessary
for motivating behavior change that employers can implement to stem the
diabetes crisis in the UAE. Over the course of the exercise, participants
found the highest value in prioritizing three types of programs: disease
management measures, fitness and nutrition programs offered by employers, and
Most participants consistently chose to support a comprehensive disease
management program that would provide automatic prescription refills, waiver
of medical co-pays and weekly meetings with an on-site wellness coach. They
prioritized nutrition and fitness programs, wanting to provide literature on
healthy eating habits and company-sponsored memberships to an on-location gym,
given that the company had sufficient resources to carry out these
Participants also expressed a strong interest in implementing cash incentive
programs to promote healthy practices, but discussed that such incentives
would not be culturally appropriate for every workplace, and that additional
strategizing needs to occur regarding what constitutes sensitive yet effective
methods of instigating behavioral change. Finally, participants suggested that
in order to create a sense of public urgency about the diabetes crisis,
multiple sectors across the healthcare provider, patient and payer (often
private business) spectrum would need to collaborate to identify solutions.
Such engagement across all sectors of society, coupled with
culturally-sensitive methods, will create immediate, sustainable impact.
Highlighting the event’s success, Don Pressley, Regional Managing Director for
Booz Allen Hamilton Middle East, said, “Increasingly, leaders are realizing
that, in an era of growing complexity, old ways of approaching problems are no
longer successful. Today, business leaders from all over the Emirates
demonstrated unique insight and strong motivation to fight our number one
public health priority – the Diabetes crisis. Given our unique position in Abu
Dhabi, we are eager as a firm to support future collaboration between sectors
on mutually-important goals such as anti-diabetes initiatives.”
More details on the event’s themes and insights can be found in the Booz Allen
Hamilton report, “Fostering Dialogue to Address the Diabetes Crisis in the
UAE: Business Leaders Collaborate on Workplace Strategies”.
About Booz Allen Hamilton
Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of management and technology
consulting services to the U.S. government in defense, intelligence, and civil
markets, and to major corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit
organizations. Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs
approximately 24,000 people, and had revenue of $5.86 billion for the 12
months ended March 31, 2012.
Booz Allen Hamilton
James Fisher, 703-377-7595
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