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In Memory of Raymond B. Werntz

In Memory of Raymond B. Werntz

Mr. Raymond B. Werntz, President of Wellness *Optimized* Inc. and Advisory Board member of the Center for Employee Health Studies of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, died January 7, 2015 in Wheaton, IL.

The lifelong goal of his work was to help employees and their families improve their health status and their ability to contribute tohigher work productivity and improved healthcare outcomes. He founded the WellnessOptimized Inc., an employee benefits consulting firm that helps employers re-engineer their worksite health plans by integrating personal support resources and education to cause employees and their families to become more engaged, knowledgeable and assertive in partnering with healthcare providers.

Previously, as President of the Consumer Health Education Council (CHEC) in Washington, D.C., a program of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Ray concentrated on research and information dissemination emphasizing the “business case” for employer investments in employee health and increased employee engagement in their own health and healthcare to promote the expansion of health insurance by smaller employers and mitigate the increasing number of America’s uninsured.

Before joining CHEC, Ray was Vice President of Compensation and Benefits for Whitman Corporation in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, a multinational Chicago company (originally the Illinois Central Railroad) where he specialized in compensation and benefit infrastructures and innovative health and financial education resources for approximately 30,000 domestic employees and their families.

In addition to over thirty years’ experience as a human resources executive, Ray has served on the Public Advisory Group of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, the Boards of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, the Midwest Business Group on Health, the National Business Group on Health and was appointed by the Governor as the first chairman of the Illinois Health Care Cost Containment Council, a statewide hospital charges database. He also served on boards and committees of other Chicago-based private and public sector organizations established to address health care policy, delivery, quality, education and access for low income Chicago residents.

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