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Chamber honors armed services

Posted: September 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Prior to the keynote speaker by Dr. Hoffman at Thursday’s Santa Clarita Valley quarterly luncheon, the chamber set aside time to recognize local veterans and honor this year’s recipient of the Ian Gelig Memorial Scholarship.

Nicholas Flores, previously with the First Marine Division in Iraq, is a college of the Canyons student with the ambition of pursuing a degree in political science at UCLA, was awarded the scholarship in early July 2011.

Created by the chamber, the scholarship honors Santa Clarita resident Ian Gelig, an Army paratrooper, Stevenson Ranch resident and Hart graduate, who was killed in Afghanistan in March 2010.

SCV Chamber of Commerce members also unanimously accepted incoming 2012 board members Dena Maloney, Anna Frutos-Sanchez, Dana Cop, Bill Barritt, Bonnie Rabjohn, Steve Chegwin, Casey Kirkman and Elizabeth Hopp.

Incoming 2012 chairman of the board, Chris Angelo, welcomed chamber members to the lunch with news that the chamber is stronger than it has ever been.

“Membership growth is up for the first time since the economic downturn and we have an 85 percent membership retention rate,” Angelo said.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Marc Hoffman, assistant area medical director with Kaiser Permanente, addressed the cost to employers when employers are unhealthy resulting in lost productivity.

Cardiovascular disease alone accounts for $143 billion in lost productivity nationally, Hoffman cited as an example.

The number of workers affected by obesity, and along with it diabetes, have steadily climbed every year driving costs higher.

“Ninety percent of the diabetes cases are Type 2,” Hoffman said. “Type 2 is acquired diabetes related to obesity.”

And it’s not only the employees who are away from work that contribute to an employer’s cost.

“For every $1 spent on health care,” Hoffman said, “Sixty percent is related to people who are at work, but ill and not working productively.”

Twenty-five percent of every dollar spent goes to health care costs themselves, nine percent on workers compensation costs and only six percent on actual absenteeism.

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