Highmark is one of 14 Pennsylvania companies recognized by the American Heart Association as a "Fit-Friendly Worksite" at the platinum level

Jan 04, 2013, 10:00 ET from Highmark Inc.

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark Inc. is one of only 14 companies in Pennsylvania recognized as a platinum-level "Fit-Friendly Worksite" by the American Heart Association (AHA) for offering a culture of wellness to employees and for achieving measurable outcomes that include decreased health care expenses and improved workforce productivity.

"We are honored to be recognized at the highest level by the American Heart Association in the Fit-Friendly Worksite program," said Anna Silberman, Highmark vice president of clinical client relations. "We are constantly working to grow and advance a worksite wellness strategy at Highmark that employs data-driven, progressive and personalized programs, services and resources. We're a strong advocate of wellness in our own work environment, and we're also helping our customers to build impactful worksite wellness programs into their cultures every day."

According to the AHA, Platinum-level Fit-Friendly Worksite employers:

  • Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
  • Increase healthy-eating options at the worksite.
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the AHA in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

"Through Highmark's ongoing efforts to provide a culture of corporate wellness, the organization has demonstrated extraordinary, tangible results," said Sherri Stitt, American Heart Association executive director and vice president for Pittsburgh Metro. "This is one of many reasons that Highmark received the highest level of recognition in the Fit-Friendly Worksites program."

Highmark's Pennsylvania locations in Pittsburgh, Camp Hill, Erie, Johnstown and Williamsport are among those worksites recognized by the AHA.

About the Fit-Friendly Worksite program
The American Heart Association's "Fit-Friendly Worksites" program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees' health and wellness a priority. American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. More information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program is available at www.startwalkingnow.org.

About Highmark Inc.
Highmark Inc. is a national diversified health and wellness company based in Pittsburgh that serves 34.4 million people across the United States through its businesses in health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, information technology and integrated health care delivery. The company, which has more than 20,000 employees, is the ninth-largest overall U.S. health insurer and the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark operates health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 4.9 million members. The company also offers health and wellness products to clients with employees throughout the country and is a recognized leader in reinsurance. In addition, the company operates more than 600 optical retail stores and four U.S.-based eyewear manufacturing facilities. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.

SOURCE Highmark Inc.