International Health Policy Analyst Derek Yach Joins The Vitality Group

Oct 23, 2012, 08:22 ET from The Vitality Group

CHICAGO, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Derek Yach, DSc (Honoris Causa), MPH, MBChB, has joined as Senior Vice President The Vitality Group®, part of the world's longest-standing and largest incentive-based wellness program. Dr. Yach will lead a new venture, The Vitality InstituteTM, a multi-disciplinary thought leadership organization tasked with advancing knowledge about the evolving science and art of prevention and health promotion to build healthier societies.


The Institute is anticipated to be launched in 2013 in collaboration with and support from HumanaVitality, LLC, a joint venture between Humana Inc. and Discovery Holdings created to give people the tools and support they need to live healthier lives.

Prior to joining Vitality, Yach served as PepsiCo's Senior Vice President, Global Health and Agriculture Policy. In addition to his new role, Yach will continue to work closely with PepsiCo as an advisor on key topics related to the food and beverage company's ongoing health and agriculture initiatives. Yach has been a member of the board of directors for The Vitality Group since 2009.

"I look forward to working with Vitality to continue its efforts to focus on health promotion and workplace wellness to reverse the rising trend of preventable chronic diseases in the U.S. and globally," said Dr. Yach.

Alan Pollard, The Vitality Group CEO noted, "Our program is a global solution that leverages cutting-edge thinking in behavioral economics and clinical and actuarial science to ensure that people begin to make healthy, cost-effective choices and thereby reshape social norms. Dr. Yach is a revered and welcomed member of our team and we look forward to working with him in establishing the Institute to further these efforts to provide innovative and effective wellness interventions to create sustainable healthcare options."

Dr. Yach previously headed global health at the Rockefeller Foundation, was a Professor of Global Health at Yale University, and a former Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO). At the WHO, he served as cabinet director under Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland where he led the development of WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity. Dr. Yach established the Centre for Epidemiological Research at the South African Medical Research Council. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles covering the breadth of global health and serves on several advisory boards including those of the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Economic Forum, the National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Centre and the World Food Program USA.

About The Vitality Group 
The Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Holdings Limited. Vitality wellness programs serve more than 4 million members worldwide at companies in a wide range of sizes and industry categories, improving individuals' health and wellbeing as well as employers' bottom lines. The Vitality wellness program is also offered through HumanaVitality, LLC, a joint venture between Humana Inc. and The Vitality Group's parent company, Discovery Holdings Ltd. With a foundation based on actuarial science and behavioral economic theory, Vitality encourages changes in lifestyle that reduce healthcare costs, both in the short run and long term, by rewarding members for addressing their specific health issues.

SOURCE The Vitality Group