ARCH by 4Leaf

ARCH, an acronym for Automatically Reducing the Cost of Healthcare, is an automated health promotion system aimed at influencing members of any organization to improve their health by incorporating more whole, plant-based foods into their dietary routines. We know that when people eat more whole plants, their health improves, they get sick less often, they suffer less from chronic disease, they need fewer medications, screenings & procedures–and the cost of their individual healthcare goes down.

Truly a win-win situation, the employees and their families enjoy the many benefits of better health AND they save money on their portion of the healthcare bill. The self-insured employer (business or institution) saves vast sums of money on healthcare while also enjoying the many benefits that accompany a healthy workforce–less absenteeism, better morale, higher productivity, less employee turnover and enhanced public image such as: most admired, best place to work, greenest company & the nation’s healthiest workforce.

The ARCH by 4Leaf* system is comprised of four elements:

  1. An online survey that assesses the quality of one’s diet, ranging from terrible to terrific. This 2-minute, 12-question, multiple-choice survey is the heart of the ARCH system. It quickly generates a score, which engages the individual in the process.
  2. A messaging system that communicates regularly with populations of any size (from one thousand to one million) and engages each person with never-ending reminder messages, improvement advice, follow-up, encouragement and praise.
  3. A HIPAA-compliant database that keeps track of dates and numerical scores of surveys administered, periodic vital sign measurements (BMI, # of prescription drugs taking, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, A1C levels, etc.) —along with specific costs driven by medications, screenings and/or procedures.
  4. A management reporting system, an analytical tool that tracks changes in dietary patterns and how they relate to changes in various health indicators–by department, facility, division, etc., enabling senior management to best determine where and how their health promotion efforts should be focused.

The survey we use is the 4Leaf Survey that was created by J. Morris Hicks in 2012, is now available in ten languages, has been given at least one million times, is used by scores of medical doctors around the world and is the only dietary assessment tool in use by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. It can be completed in under two minutes either online or with pen and paper and produces a custom report depending on the answers to the twelve questions. (Click here for the eCornell version). it is also available online for free to the international public at

Promoting Health & Saving Money. We believe that ARCH can be effective at promoting health and reducing the cost of healthcare with very little management involvement or incentives. We also believe that with more positive senior management involvement, coupled with training and incentives for all employees, that it can lead to far greater savings.

For example, in any self-insured organization with at least 500 employees, with minimal management involvement or employee training, we believe that the total cost of healthcare can be lowered by  5% to 10% within three years. With active leadership from senior management, we believe that those costs could be lowered by 30% or more. And that amounts to a ton of money.

According to AON Hewitt, the cost of healthcare (shared by the company and the employees) in 2016 was well over $100 million for the average company with 10,000 employees. With savings of 5%, 10% or 30% the total cost of healthcare could be cut by more than $5 million, $10 million or $30 million, respectively.

Extrapolating for a company with one million employees like Amazon, the annual savings could be $500 million, one billion or as much as three billion dollars per year.

Already have a wellness program? Great, ARCH can be used alongside any/all types of health-promotion initiatives that might be taking place within your organization. The unique thing about ARCH is that it focuses ONLY on food choices and it includes a survey and database that will enable management to track changes in food choices against improvements in health and the related costs. Most wellness initiatives are woefully lacking when it comes to helping guide people to choose the kinds of food (whole plants) that truly promote health.

Strategic Advantage. The potential savings numbers mentioned earlier would be game-changers for most companies; prompting us to consider the strategic advantage that will be enjoyed by companies who choose to get serious about promoting health. Here’s the way we see it: 

As the first wave of CEOs begins to take advantage of the many benefits that come from a healthier workforce, other companies who don’t undertake similar initiatives will have trouble competing with those who do. J. Morris Hicks

The Bottom Line. With the “strategic advantage” mentioned above, this approach to lowering the cost of healthcare (under the leadership of CEOs of large companies) will likely be the first “domino” to fall when it comes to an accelerated global shift to a plant-based diet. Considering the crucial environmental advantages of a shift away from eating animal-based foods, those pioneering CEOs will have quite possibly saved our civilization. 

Want to see how the first ARCH message to an associate of your company might look like? Here is a link to the first message of our envisioned “learning module” series of seven messages.

Finally, check out this unsolicited 4Leaf endorsement from Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University:

“Your 4Leaf model is one-hundredth the complexity but has real value that may exceed any of the very comprehensive survey models developed by some of the world’s top cancer specialists.” (Via email from a cancer conference Colin was attending in 2016)

—T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell

Links to More ARCH information:

  1. One-page Introduction to ARCH by 4Leaf
  2. One-page ARCH Vision Document
  3. For Senior Management Only
  4. The Online 4Leaf Survey at
  5. 4Leaf Survey in Seven Languages
  6. The English one-page version of the Survey
  7. Two-page ARCH Talking Points—Why it will Work
  8. J. Morris Hicks Health Promotion CV
  9. ARCH by 4Leaf Demo

*ARCH by 4Leaf, the 4Leaf registered trademark, the 4Leaf Survey and all other 4Leaf materials are intellectual property of 4Leaf Global, LLC. Click here for our policy regarding the use of our 4Leaf intellectual property.

The Future. We envision licensing the ARCH by 4Leaf system to a broad mix of pioneering organizations (public, private, NGO, etc.) that would save money and/or gain a strategic advantage by substantially reducing their cost of healthcare.

For more information, Contact J. Morris (Jim) Hicks at