Regence Joins National Employee Health and Fitness Day May 16 Company's executives join thousands across the country to turn small steps

around the block into a giant leap towards good health for employees



    PORTLAND, Ore., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Amid rising health care costs
 among American workers, more employers are taking action to motivate and
 reward their employees for adopting healthier lifestyles. On May 16,
 Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon will join them, as several of the
 company's executives lead employees on a lunchtime walk to celebrate
 National Employee Health & Fitness Day(TM).
     National Employee Health & Fitness Day(TM) is held on the third
 Wednesday in May each year. The National Association for Health & Fitness
 established this event in 1989 to promote the benefits of physical activity
 for individuals through work-site health promotion activities. National
 Employee Health & Fitness Day creates an opportunity for employers to
 engage their employees in physical activity that promotes a healthier
 workplace environment.
     As the largest health insurer in Oregon and a company that employs more
 than 2000 area residents, Regence is committed to setting an example of
 good health for its employees, members and the community and encouraging
 fitness among employees and rewarding them for taking charge of their
 health.
     Members of the public and the media are invited to put on their
 pedometers and join Regence executives as they lead employees on a one-mile
 walk around downtown Portland during lunchtime on May 16. Small steps such
 as this have already helped Regence impact the health of its own employees
 over the past several years. For example, the company has experienced an
 increase in sales from 28 percent in the first year to 41 percent in the
 second year of a new program that offers discounts for healthier food items
 at the company's onsite cafes. Since the introduction of this discount
 program, along with an incentivized wellness program and other wellness
 activities, each of the past three years' health care trends (based on
 claim cost increases) have been at least 20 percent lower than in 2002.
     "Our role as a health plan and large employer uniquely positions
 Regence to set an example of health and fitness for our employees and the
 community," said J. Bart McMullan, Jr., M.D., president of Regence
 BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. "We hope employers in our community will
 join us in honoring National Employee Health and Fitness day as the first
 step towards helping their own employees start down the road to good
 health."
     Members of the public and the media are invited to join Regence
 employees for any one of four walks that will take place in Portland, at
 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. Walks will depart from
 the entrance to Club Blue at the 200 SW Market Street Building (Black Box).
 The entrance is located at the top of the 2nd Avenue stairs that lead
 through the walkway between the 100 and 200 Market Street buildings.
     About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
     Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon provides medical, dental and
 related coverage for nearly one million members in Oregon and in Clark
 County, Washington. It's part of Regence, the largest health insurer in the
 northwest and intermountain states, collectively covering nearly three
 million people. Regence plans are independent licensees of the Blue Cross
 and Blue Shield Association. Nearly one in three Americans has health care
 coverage through Blue Plans. For more information, visit
 www.or.regence.com.
 
 

SOURCE Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

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