Grant: #74322

Grantee: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  

Principal Investigator: Eileen McNeely, Ph.D., M.S., RNC

Grant Period: 02/01/2017 – 01/31/2019

Budget: $254,751

This project is funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s solicitation, “Engaging Businesses for Health,” which seeks to build the evidence base for private-sector investment to help build a Culture of Health. The goal of this project is to help determine whether broad impact incentives offer a significant opportunity to scale a culture of health for diverse communities. Allegacy, a not-for-profit credit union founded in Winston-Salem, NC, will incentivize its members to visit the YMCA by increasing their household savings account returns according to the frequency of their visits. The AllHealth Wellness Account is a household level savings incentive that enables Allegacy members to earn dividends at incrementally higher rates based on the number of visits. The researchers will examine: (1) whether staged incentives increase and sustain utilization/engagement overtime; and (2) whether increased utilization/engagement corresponds to increased self-reported well-being in the individual member. Using surveys, interviews and wearable devices, the researcher will assess the relationship between the frequency of YMCA engagement and general well-being, community involvement, financial well-being and health. They will examine activity at the individual and group level to understand the effects of social networks when incentives target the household unit. Deliverables will include a project work plan and annual and final narrative and financial reports. The grantee will also produce paper(s) suitable for publication and present findings at national research meetings and to other stakeholder audiences as appropriate, including the business sector and federal and state policymakers, as part of the deliverables for this grant.