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Nebraska’s Award-Winning Wellness Program Meets an Ignominious Demise

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

No program epitomized conventional “pry, poke and prod” wellness more than Nebraska’s state employee wellness program.  And by that of course I mean no wellness vendor has ever lied about outcomes more blatantly or won more awards than Nebraska’s state employee wellness program vendor, Health Fitness Corporation.  (Blatantly lying about outcomes and winning Koop Awards, in the immortal words of the great philosopher Frank Sinatra, go together like a horse and carriage.)   Their big mistake was admitting it.  (See the timeline link.)

Not to mention the cover-up of the lies, that Ron Goetzel and his Koop Committee friends botched so badly that the state’s HR team and procurement department could no longer do the Sergeant Schultz thing.  I guess now, finally, Mr. Goetzel will stop referring to this program as a “best practice.”

The complete timeline, including all the screenshots, “best practice” references, and the cover-up, is here.

Now, the program is officially dead.  It was close.  On October 1, we thought we had lost:

nebraska award to hfc

But then last week, following a number of behind-the-scenes conversations and finally a bit of googling by the state:

Nebraska rejection

In other words:



  1. Mitch Collins says:

    Are they shutting it down or just keeping the current cluster [intercourse]?


  2. Dell Dorn says:

    Any explanations from them (Nebraska) as to why they shut it down or did they just fold the tent and silently glide away?


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      Unfortunately there is stuff I’m not allowed to say and if I say it people there (quite justifiably) will probably not talk to be any more. They are maintaining the option to try again with a better program down the road.


  3. drjonrobison says:

    R.I.P. ! – I hope that people who are still promoting these kinds of abominations are paying attention -Dr. Jon


  4. Sam Lippe says:

    This was a real blot on the wellness industry. Ironically I think the state did the industry a big favor by shutting it down, thus eliminating your most obvious target, and the one that truly shows the integrity and intelligence of the wellness industry and Koop Committee


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      Except that the state and Health Fitness aren’t going to lose the Koop Award, because for Mr. Goetzel’s committee, integrity takes a back seat to loyalty to your paying sponsors.


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