James Startare on the value of belonging to GPBCH in Advancing Health Equity, Innovation

Being a member of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health (GPBCH) for the past 10 years continues to influence innovation in health equity, health transformation and wellness in its line of work, said James Startare, vice president of benefits, Aramark.

GPBCH will host a 10th anniversary event on November 10, 2022.


Why did your organization join GPBCH?

I am James Startare, the Vice President of Benefits at Aramark, and we are longtime members of GPBCH and have been a member of the Coalition for 10 years from my previous employer. It was an easy decision, I mean, 10 years ago, and it’s an easy decision now to be an active member and participant of the Coalition. For cost vs value, I call it a no-brainer.

Most organizations spend millions, tens of millions, a few hundred million dollars on health and wellness spending, and the small cost to the coalition of being around individuals who have similar thoughts, similar ideas, similar challenges. , again, it’s a pretty straightforward decision to join a group like this, and the value far outweighs the cost.

I am living proof only from the things I have done with my organization and organizations over the years, from the ideas, thoughts, concepts that have sprung from the Coalition. So, I’m a proud member, happy to be, and [will] continue to be so for many years.

How do you and your team engage with the Coalition and how have they provided value to your organization?

My team and I engage with GPBCH in various ways. We thank the Coalition for holding regular and frequent meetings on a variety of topics, be it wellness, health transformation, health equity – every time we turn around, there is another important topic for us to attend. to a webinar, a web conference and educational session, and what we do is try to participate as much as possible.

Unfortunately, we cannot do all of them because the variety is so abundant, but we participate in many, and we participate actively, and all the great opportunities we have through the various avenues that the Coalition offers.

Why should other employers in the region join the Coalition?

So, joining GPBCH is something that is close and dear to me, because I have been a member for 10 years. And it’s very exciting to be a member, for a variety of reasons. But the only main reason is that it takes an idea, a concept, an interaction, a peer-to-peer conversation, to give life to an idea, to trigger a concept, to create a thought, to help undertake a ‘ initiative, whatever it is.

When there are so many people who, again, are dealing with the same challenges, the same problems, who think the way you think and are in the trenches, day after day, just like you are on similar topics. It is a great environment to promote strategy, foster creativity and, for these reasons, it is extremely interesting for me and my organization to be a member of GPBCH.

As health care evolves, what future role do you believe coalitions have in promoting equitable health of employees and beneficiaries?

As the health care system evolves, we know we need to do better in the area of ​​health equity. It has been a problem for so long and luckily it is getting the attention it needs. And as a coalition, a grand coalition in a large metropolitan area with some of the major health systems, I see our coalition role as a lever.

We bring numbers, we bring large employers, we bring influence and influence to the city of Philadelphia and even nationwide. And I think what we could do is, once again, exploit and educate and help big health systems to be fairer, help point out where there are inequalities in the data that are clear and obvious, and help guide the prosecution. And again, I believe it is one of leverage and influence.

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