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Leading Medicine Magazine, Vol 7, No 1 - 2013

im Crane just completed his rookie season as owner of the Houston Astros, which he purchased late in 2011 for more than $600 million. The Houston businessman has been successful in the freight and energy industries, but becoming an owner of a professional baseball team was the fulfi llment of a courtship that began on a diamond at what used to be Central Missouri State University. As a sophomore, young Crane pitched a shutout for the Mules in the 1974 NCAA World Series, striking out 11 batters in a row. The right-hander had a stellar season as a junior, but an injury stopped him in his senior year, when Crane fi nished his baseball career with a 21–8 record. “Baseball has had a big impact on me from the time I was little and for the better,” Crane said when he was announced as the Astros’ new owner in 2011. “It has helped me gain confi dence and has taught me to work hard. I will use all those lessons moving forward with the Astros.” Today, Crane keeps in shape with an exercise regimen that he has tailored to his busy work and travel schedule. Three or four times a week, he goes through a cardio workout for a little less than an hour, then complements that with weightlifting and stretching. “I learned early on what keeps me healthy and helps me relax,” he explains. “And I continue to sponsor that healthy mindset in all the companies I work with.” He became acquainted with The Methodist Hospital System through its affi liation with the Houston Astros — Methodist is not only the team’s offi cial health care provider, but also provides wellness services to team employees on and off the baseball fi eld. Working with Methodist Wellness Services, Crane established a health program for executives and employees at all of his companies. He also built Houston Astros owner Jim Crane a gymnasium and a spinning area at his corporate headquarters and added healthy menu items to the cafeteria. Assuring employees’ health is certainly a good investment, Crane feels. “It’s always a win when you can help keep your people healthy and give them the time and opportunity to address health issues before they become big deals,” he says. “One of my executives didn’t catch his prostate cancer early, and it wound up costing him his life,” Crane continues. “After that, I made it mandatory that all of our executives get a physical every year.” He called upon Methodist to help build a culture of wellness throughout all of the Crane companies. Representatives from Methodist Wellness Services tailored programs to fi t specifi c needs of employees and set health and wellness goals for the companies. Michele Hunnicutt, director of Methodist Wellness Services, says that initial strategy is very important in building an environment that promotes and rewards healthy lifestyles. “We seek to create a change that makes a positive impact on people, but the biggest challenge is making those new habits stick over a long period of time,” Hunnicutt explains. “That’s why we seek to tailor each of our solutions to the particular company we are working with.” The Methodist corporate wellness program can provide behavioral and educational programs in areas such as nutrition, fi tness, stress management, smoking cessation and weight loss. It also offers a complete package of screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density and heart health, as well as immunizations for infl uenza and travel requirements. Methodist Wellness Services has worked with businesses for more than two decades, and many of its programs are successful because they’ve been tested and practiced in-house at Methodist. “Yes, we try everything out on our own workforce,” Hunnicutt says. “Everything we offer businesses has been developed with Methodist’s employees.” Programs for weight loss, healthy eating, exercise, smoking cessation and health screenings have certainly made a positive impact on Methodist’s employees. In 2010 and 2011, employees managed to reduce their health risks by fi ve percent in consecutive years. “That’s a great selling point — we’ve managed to improve our employees’ health by 10 percent over two years,” says Hunnicutt. “So we turn these programs around and take them out to the market with a real record of success.” Jim Crane is certainly sold on Methodist’s record. “We really solidifi ed and expanded our work with Methodist when we bought the Astros,” he says. “We sought to use Methodist’s services in our other businesses because we believe in them.” n To learn more about Methodist Wellness Services and its corporate and executive wellness programs, call 713-441-5978 or visit methodisthealth.com/wellness. J Leading Medicine • Volume 7, Number 1 4 1


Leading Medicine Magazine, Vol 7, No 1 - 2013
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