WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's top business leaders recently endorsed a more modern view of corporate responsibility—one that advances the interests of all stakeholders. But to realize the long-term benefits of investing in employees and communities, employers need to turn these inspiring words into concrete actions that improve well-being, while simultaneously achieving sustainable business results.
Since 1994, a non-profit known as The Health Project has been awarding annual prizes to organizations with proven health improvement programs through its prestigious C. Everett Koop National Health Award. Today, The Health Project announced Baylor College of Medicineand Ericsson as its 2019 award winners.
Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is a medical system, academic health sciences university and research institution with a dynamic workforce of more than 10,000 faculty, staff, residents and post-doctoral fellows across the globe. Its wellness program began in 2011 and expanded in 2014 when it became known as "BCM BeWell." The mission of BCM BeWell is to educate, inspire and create a culture of health and well-being throughout the college and serve participants wherever they are in their health and well-being journey.
Between 2014 and 2018, participation in the program grew from 25 percent to 62 percent and during this time BCM employees significantly improved their overall health. With physical wellness being the most utilized aspect of the program, the percentage of participants who were physically inactive was reduced 12.8 percent and those with poor nutrition habits decreased by 9.7 percent. In an annual company survey, 86 percent of respondents reported that BCM BeWell contributed to improvements in overall health and well-being. Because of positive health trends, Baylor experienced a medical budget surplus in 2018 and was able to keep the employee-paid medical insurance premiums static for 2018/2019. Senior leadership at Baylor endorses the BCM BeWell program and continues to support its growth.
Ericsson is one of the world's leading providers of information and communication technology. Ericsson North America is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and employs nearly 6,300 workers. Ericsson offers a comprehensive and competitive health and welfare benefits package and E-Health Wellness program to support the physical, financial, emotional and social well-being of its employees and their families.
The program is well-integrated into the organizational infrastructure and has yielded significant improvements in population health and noteworthy business results over a four-year period. In 2018, 74 percent of employees and 47 percent of spouses registered for the E-Health program and completed at least one activity. A risk migration cohort analysis of 3,626 employees found a positive net improvement of 3-4 percentage points over 4.4 years. Another matched cohort analysis of 4,377 employees and spouses showed that program participants were $385 less expensive than non-participants over the period of 2016-2018. The analysis also revealed that cost increases per member per year were more significant for non-participants based on a 14 percent average difference-in-difference analysis. Similar results were found when examining medical utilization data, with participants having fewer hospital admissions and emergency department visits and higher rates of preventive examinations.
"The C. Everett Koop Award recognizes organizations that are actively working toward a healthy and sustainable future with solid, evidence-based programs that improve employee health and well-being," said Ron Goetzel, PhD, President and CEO of The Health Project. "But, to win recognition, employers also need to provide evidence that their programs have produced meaningful business results."
The Koop Award application reflects the industry's trend towards a more comprehensive approach to workplace wellness. The application welcomes metrics that support a Value-on-Investment (VOI) in addition to the more traditional Return-on-Investment (ROI) standard.
"The 2019 Koop Award winners are delivering on their promises to stakeholders," said David Ballard, PsyD, MBA, Health Project board member and senior director for applied psychology at the American Psychological Association. "By combining exemplary health promotion programs with a positive organizational culture, these employers are producing long-term value and that's good for people and profits."
Because of the rigorous standards required for documenting health improvements and cost savings, fewer than 65 organizations have been honored with this prestigious award since the organization was established, with Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General of the United States, as its honorary chairperson.
In addition to the 2019 award winners, Almoosa Specialist Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Norton Healthcare, The Ohio State University and Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company received honorable mention recognition. The awards will be presented on September 11, 2019 at the annual Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Forum in Portland, OR. More information about the C. Everett Koop National Health Award and award-winning health promotion programs is available at http://thehealthproject.com.
The Health Project, Inc. (The Health Project, "THP"), is a tax-exempt not-for-profit corporation formed to bring about critical attitudinal and behavioral changes in addressing the health and well-being of Americans. THP's mission is to seek out, evaluate, promote and disseminate the lessons learned from exemplary health promotion and disease prevention programs with demonstrated effectiveness in influencing personal health habits and cost-effective use of health care resources. The C. Everett Koop National Health Awards are given each year to worksite, community or provider programs which have soundly documented improved health and decreased medical costs.