More than 200 U.S. Companies and Organizations Receive Health Champion Designation Through Nationwide Wellness Initiative

American Diabetes Association and Sun Life Financial Encourage Wellness in the Workplace

Jan 14, 2016, 10:08 ET from American Diabetes Association

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and WELLESLEY, Mass., Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Diabetes Association has launched Wellness Lives HereSM, a new initiative that focuses on employee and community wellness by working with organizations  to inspire and fuel healthful habits at work and beyond. One aspect of the initiative, the Health Champion Designation, recognizes companies for their efforts in implementing wellness programs and improving employee health.

Two hundred sixty-two companies, organizations and communities across the U.S. – ranging from hospitals and trucking companies to school districts and nonprofits – have already been designated Health Champions, and more companies are applying every day. These organizations have implemented a culture of wellness that provides healthier food choices at work, promotes group participation in physical activities such as organized walks, and encourages other healthy habits such as taking the stairs. The criteria for becoming a Health Champion Designee include nutrition and weight management, physical activity and organizational well-being.

Sun Life Financial is the exclusive national sponsor* of Wellness Lives Here. Also a recent Health Champion Designee, Sun Life focuses on internal employee health with programs such as CSA farm share, wellness seminars and smoking cessation resources.

For some employees, the implementation of Wellness Lives Here at their jobs could mean fewer sick days, higher productivity, and less of a financial burden from medical bills. For others, it could mean looking and feeling better. The Association's goal for this initiative is to create more empowered Americans who are better able to control, delay or stop diabetes and experience improvements in overall health and well-being.

"As Americans, we spend the majority of our days working primarily sedentary jobs, so it's more important than ever for our workplaces to encourage healthful habits," said Kevin L. Hagen, Chief Executive Officer, American Diabetes Association. "Our hope with our Wellness Lives Here initiative is that employers across the country will earn a Health Champion Designation to not only control and prevent diabetes, but to inspire an all-around healthier office culture."

In addition to the Health Champion Designation, the Wellness Lives Here initiative aims to educate and motivate people to adopt healthful habits at work through a variety of other programs including National Get Fit Don't Sit Day and National Healthy Lunch Day.

Diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S., or more than 10 percent of the population. The Wellness Lives Here initiative and Sun Life's support of it are essential for the future health of Americans.

"We congratulate all of the Health Champions and thank them for being pioneers of this important effort to encourage health and wellness in the workplace," said Dan Fishbein, President of Sun Life Financial U.S. "In our industry we see the direct effects of diabetes and related health risks in employee populations. Programs like Wellness Lives Here can truly make a positive difference and we are excited to team up with the American Diabetes Association to encourage other organizations across the country to take action in combatting diabetes."

To learn more about the Association's Wellness Lives Here initiative and how your organization can apply to have a Health Champion Designation, please visit wellnessliveshere.org. A complete list of the Health Champion Designees can be found at diabetes.org/healthchampions .

About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Since 1940, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. The Sun Life Financial group of companies operates under the "Sun Life Financial" name strictly as a marketing name and no legal significance is expressed or implied. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including Group and Voluntary Accident, Critical Illness, Dental, Disability, Life, and Stop-Loss insurance products. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. For more information, visit www.sunlife.com/us.

*Sun Life Financial is the National Sponsor of the Association's Wellness Lives Here initiative, with exclusivity in the national corporate group benefits industry category.                                     

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SOURCE American Diabetes Association



RELATED LINKS

http://www.diabetes.org