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Apr 7, 2015 8:41 AM ET

Archived: HealthyByte Initiative: Support families with healthy food & education

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 7, 2015

HealthyByte Initiative: Support families w/ healthy food & education


HealthyByte is a childhood obesity company that offers health clinics the opportunity to help Medicaid patients manage costs of the chronic disease obesity by providing them with resources to make healthy lifestyle choices. Why this market?

Obesity-related medical treatment accounts for nearly 10 percent of all annual medical spending, which is between $147 and $210 billion a year (2006). Of the $147 billion, Medicare and Medicaid are responsible for $61.8 billion. Medicare and Medicaid spending would be 8.5 percent and 11.8 percent lower, respectively, in the absence of obesity. Obese people spend 42 percent more on healthcare costs than healthy weight people. With that, childhood obesity alone is responsible for $14.1 billion in direct costs. Currently, about one in three children are categorized as overweight or obese. Obesity is an underlying factor in death in approximately 16 percent of all deaths in the United States and can be associated with heart disease, pregnancy complications, high blood cholesterol, psychological disorders, and increased surgical risk.

The HealthyByte Solution
Medical intervention can only go so far to solve these problems. We focus on getting the population interested in their health behavior so they can prevent life-threatening diseases. Our community-based model around health systems provides patients with critical tools that they need to improve health and well-being. This means that patients are not only getting care from physicians, but they are also getting educated though a proven behavioral model. Our innovative program transforms the landscape of the health industry to a more comfortable, affordable, educational, and encouraging place to learn about nutrition, fitness, and healthy behavior. It is our goal to eliminate the barrier between health plans and health clinics by engaging patients in a collaborative environment to improve quality and reduce the cost of healthcare. 

How We Help Patients
When patients know better, they do better. Not only do we educate patients on nutrition, physical activity, and healthy behavior, but we also create an engaging environment around the health system. Patients are able to identify helping relationships whether it’s with their primary care physicians, clinic staff, HealthyByte experts, or other patients. The HealthyByte program allows patients to feel empowered to control their health destiny.

How We Help Doctors
Our programs help strengthen the personal relationship between doctors and patients. The doctor becomes a trusted advisor and in return, the patient wants to come to the clinic.

How We Help Hospitals, Institutions, and/ or Medical Facilities
HealthyByte can work with health plans to identify the risk segmentation of open enrollment or of its current clinical environment. We provide outreach strategies along with our program to create awareness. An added benefit to the health institution is that it  creates a sense of branding to patients and organizations. The program also helps reduce healthcare costs because it improves patient acquisition and retention. By establishing a healthy behavior change early on in children, we can prevent costly treatments that may arise from diseases that develop later in their lives. While these are a few key ways HealthyByte assists hospitals, institutions, and facilities, we understand that each organization may face unique challenges and we are dedicated to find a solution that fits with your operation.

How We Will Use Your Contributions
The money raised will primarily be used to purchase and deliver organic fruit and vegetables for approximately 25 families for an 8-week program. The participating clinic will either be in King, Pierce, or Yakima County in the state of Washington. We also have prospective health centers in the Las Vegas area. The rest of the money raised will be used to produce educational materials and administer the program. Your contributions are greatly appreciated and will help us validate and enhance our integrated program.

Who We Are
Dennis CannelisCEO, Principal
Dennis is a Healthcare IT entrepreneur and has over 25 years of executive leadership experience in healthcare delivery systems. His expertise lies in growing healthcare technology and services companies from inception to acquisition, while creating a repeatable and profitable business model. He founded Healthweb Systems and Creative Business Solutions, which were both acquired by The TriZetto Group in 2000. Dennis has a passion for whole food nutrition and mentoring others. He co-founded HealthyByte in 2014 with his daughter Kara to improve patient health outcomes by delivering whole foods directly to clinics.
Kara Cannelis CMO, Principal
Before graduating from The University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2013, Kara worked with McCann Erickson to come up with international branding strategies.  After school, she began her career as a Digital Media Planner/Buyer at a leading U.S. advertising agency.  Because of her interest in childhood nutrition and fitness, she then took her skill set to the healthcare industry and co-founded HealthyByte in 2014 with her father Dennis. Even as a Millennial, Kara values the importance of face-to-face communication and community settings. Her passion lies in making people feel empowered and capable of choosing their own health destiny.
Maggie Herell Director of Patient Engagement
Maggie is a MPH student focusing in Epidemiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and will graduate in May 2015.  She has worked primarily as a health educator over the last 4 years and has had internships with Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, National Kidney Foundation, University of St. Thomas Wellness Center and Child Neurological Foundation. She also serves as a volunteer board member and the fundraising chair for a non-profit in North Dallas. Maggie strives to combine her love for working with children and her passion for nutrition. She whole-heartedly believes in the healing power of nutrition and hopes to motivate others to choose a healthy, whole foods diet.

Jacob, Steve (2012). Health Care in 2020. USA: Dorsam Publishing. National Center for Health Statistics (2012). Health, United States, 2012 with Special Feature on Emergency Care. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data /hus/hus12.pdf#063
Tanner, Lindsey (2007). Americans Eat Themselves to Death. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-604956.html  http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm  http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits- Vegetables-2013.pdf
The State of Obesity (2006). Better Policies for a Healthier America. A Project of the Robert J. Woods Foundation.


Contact Information:

Dennis Cannelis – CEO, Principal
Kara Cannelis – CMO, Principal
Maggie Herell – Director of Patient Engagement

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