Mak­ing Waves

Cel­e­brat­ing South­west Florid­i­ans

RSWLiving - - Department­s -

As a mem­ber of and med­i­cal di­rec­tor for the Lee Physi­cian Group, Dr. Sal­va­tore Lacagn­ina took a proac­tive ap­proach with his pa­tients. “I’ve al­ways be­lieved that preven­tion is the best cure,” he says. “My pa­tients heard about ways to stay healthy, as op­posed to wait­ing for chronic dis­eases to de­velop and then try­ing to fix their prob­lems.”

So he was a nat­u­ral fit to take on the role of vice pres­i­dent of health and well­ness at Lee Me­mo­rial Health Sys­tem in 2010. Since then, he’s worked to de­velop a pro­gram to im­prove the health of the sys­tem’s own em­ploy­ees that in­cludes well­ness ex­ams, dis­counted gym mem­ber­ships and screen­ings for com­mon can­cers and other con­di­tions. “By track­ing clin­i­cal out­comes, we can tell that people are get­ting health­ier— their weight is de­creas­ing, their di­a­betes is im­prov­ing, and their chronic ill­nesses are get­ting bet­ter,” says Lacagn­ina.

As a re­sult, LMHS has cut its health- care costs for its em­ploy­ees and is work­ing to help other lo­cal businesses do the same. “We see this as an in­vest­ment,” says Lacagn­ina. “And right now, we’re see­ing a two- to- one re­turn on our in­vest­ment.” Dr. Sal­va­tore Lacagn­ina, 239- 989- 9922, leememo­rial.org

— Beth Lu­berecki

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