WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Adults spend a majority of their waking hours on the job and with health care spending growing at an unsustainable rate, forward-thinking employers are leveraging the workplace as a setting for improving the health of the U.S. population and reducing avoidable costs.
To recognize organizations for health promotion and wellness programs that produce documented health improvements and cost savings, The Health Project announced Dell as the winner of its 2013 C. Everett Koop National Health Award.
"Employers share the goal of improving the health and well-being of workers, so that individuals can enjoy long and productive lives, avoid disability and perform at their best," said Dr. Ron Goetzel, president and CEO of The Health Project. "Dell's efforts demonstrate that, when done right, evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs not only make workers healthier, they can also produce a positive return on investment."
In 2004, Dell launched a comprehensive wellness and health-improvement program, branded "Well at Dell." Since its inception, the Dell program has created a culture of well-being that encourages a healthy lifestyle for team members and their families, while mitigating health care cost increases for the company. Well at Dell provides substantial financial incentives designed to engage and reward participants who monitor, maintain and improve their health. Along with annual health screenings and quarterly wellness challenges, the program provides resources such as telephone and on-site lifestyle coaching for health risk reduction, condition management programs, on-site fitness and health centers, as well as virtual wellness offerings.
In the past year, more than 80 percent of team members and 45 percent of spouses/domestic partners have participated in the company's health improvement and wellness programs. Well at Dell program participants have consistently experienced health improvement and reduction in health risks. Health survey results for the repeat respondents - tracked over four years (2009-2012) - demonstrated a seven percent increase in the number of participants at low risk and a five percent decrease in the number of participants at high risk. Ten of twelve tracked health risks showed improvements with physical activity, nutrition and stress as the most improved for both team members and spouses. Overall, the Well at Dell health management program has achieved high engagement rates, reduction in key health risks, evidence of cost savings associated with risk reduction and an annual return on investment (ROI) of 2:1 or better over the four-year period.
"Dell has an exemplary program that follows evidence-based guidelines, achieves high participation rates and shows significant reductions in health risks alongside cost savings," said Dr. Jim Fries, Chief Science Officer for The Health Project and Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The Health Project has been awarding annual prizes to organizations with proven health improvement and cost savings programs since 1994. More than 50 winners have received the prestigious award since the organization was established, with Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General of the United States from 1981-1989, as its honorary chairperson. Dr. Koop passed away earlier this year at the age of 96, but his legacy and contributions to public health and health promotion live on.
"For more than 20 years, The Health Project's Board has consisted of leaders in health promotion and disease prevention who donate their time and expertise to a cause they believe will help contain health care costs while allowing Americans to live healthier, more enjoyable and more productive lives," said chairman and co-founder of The Health Project Carson Beadle. "These winning programs serve as examples and provide evidence to inform even more effective programs moving forward."
This year, 12 applications were submitted for review by The Health Project Board of Directors. In addition to the 2013 award winner, three organizations – American Express, Berkshire Health Systems and Graco – received honorable mention recognition. The awards will be presented on September 25, 2013 at the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Forum in Orlando, FL. More information about the C. Everett Koop National Health Award winners is available at www.TheHealthProject.com.
The Health Project (THP) is a non-profit private-public consortium dedicated to bringing about critical attitudinal and behavioral changes in the American health care system, so that providers and consumers employ its vast resources with increasing knowledge and understanding. THP's mission is to seek out, evaluate, promote, and distribute programs with demonstrated effectiveness in influencing personal health habits and the cost effective use of health care services. 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.
SOURCE The Health Project