WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most U.S. employers report offering some form of workplace health promotion (wellness) program to their workers, but there is considerable variability in the quality and effectiveness of these programs. To promote evidence-based programs, The Health Project each year recognizes exemplary programs shown to improve workers' health and exert a positive business impact. Employers are invited to apply for the C. Everett Koop National Health Award, which requires the submission of credible data documenting the programs' impact on workers' health and meaningful business outcomes.
Today, The Health Project announced that three companies were selected by a panel of judges for Honorable Mention recognition in 2017.
The 2017 C. Everett Koop Award Honorable Mention designees are: Delta Air Lines, IDEXX Laboratories, and PepsiCo.
Employee health and well-being are central to the company culture of Delta Air Lines. The comprehensive wellness program encourages employees to "Invest in a culture of wellness" by providing resources that support community involvement, financial security and emotional well-being in addition to physical health. Delta's wellness network, which includes organized programs as well as grass-roots efforts initiated by over 500 wellness champions and leaders, empowers Delta employees through a combination of strategy and action. The Wellness Team strives to reach each of the 85,000 global employees across 287 locations via well-being initiatives that provide tools and education that positively impact health and quality of life. In 2016, 60 percent of employees completed the health assessment. Participants showed marked improvements in physical activity, smoking cessation, stress management, cholesterol control and job attendance.
IDEXX Laboratories is a global leader in veterinary diagnostics, veterinary practice software and water microbiology testing. IDEXX's 7,500 employees are based in 49 U.S. states and over 30 countries. Since 2011, the company's comprehensive wellness program "IDEXX Life" has built a culture of health and well-being, with strong support from senior leadership. Investment in employees' health has produced reductions in health care costs, higher engagement in work, and increased fitness program participation. This has allowed IDEXX to reinvest savings into improved employee benefit programs including an increased 401(k) match and expanded family-friendly benefits.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. The company's "Healthy Living" program helps employees and their families live better and healthier lives—physically, financially and socially. All benefits-eligible employees and their dependents can participate in programs focused on increasing health awareness, personal responsibility and active engagement in one's health and well-being. The "Healthy Living" program's reach extends beyond employees and into the community through the "Ready, Step, Move… Give!" challenge, which links employee physical exercise to charitable giving. In 2016, participating PepsiCo employees achieved a company-wide exercise goal of 3.2 billion steps walked, an accomplishment that the PepsiCo Foundation recognized with a $300,000 donation to the World Food Programme.
"We congratulate our three Honorable Mention designees for their excellent programs demonstrating the link between employee wellness and positive business results," said Ron Goetzel, PhD, President and CEO of The Health Project. "Over the past 25 years, The Health Project has recognized many businesses that have won the C. Everett Koop Prize or earned Honorable Mention. These employers have figured out how to best design, implement and evaluate their wellness programs. Our research shows that publicly traded companies that win the Koop Award outperform the average company traded on Wall Street by about three to one, as measured by their stock price."
Seth Serxner, PhD, Vice President of The Health Project, underscored the importance of sharing best practices with other employers who wish to improve their employees' health, prevent costly illnesses and save money. "We encourage business leaders to visit our website to learn how they can tailor and apply best practices to their organization and one day win the Koop Award."
The Health Project board member David Koop, grandson of Dr. C. Everett Koop and Chief Financial Officer for The Burish Group of UBS Financial Services, said, "Today in this country we are paying vast sums of money to treat people with diseases, many of which are preventable. The business community is not waiting for government to act. Company executives have taken an active role in addressing the healthcare crisis facing America by sponsoring health promotion and disease prevention programs that work. I am proud to carry on the legacy of my grandfather by honoring businesses that are serious about improving workers' health and enhancing the global competitiveness of American industries."
The Health Project's Board of volunteers includes academicians, health services researchers, corporate medical directors, consultants and business executives with specific expertise in measurement of workplace health promotion programs. Board members are obligated to recuse themselves from review and discussions of applications when there are real or perceived conflicts of interest. Each year, reviewers independently evaluate each application and then come together to decide on the winners and those deserving honorable mention.
This year, the board determined that there was no winner of the Koop Award. While many of the organizations that submitted applications had strong programs, they lacked sufficient data in one or more of the categories required for the award. All applicants received detailed feedback from the reviewers and were encouraged to re-apply next year.
The Health Project has been awarding annual prizes to organizations with proven health improvement and cost savings programs since 1994. 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. Although Dr. Koop passed away in 2013 at the age of 96, his legacy and contributions to public health and health promotion live on.
The awards will be presented on September 12, 2017 at the annual Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Forum in Phoenix, Arizona. More information about the C. Everett Koop National Health Award and award-winning health promotion programs are available at www.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.
SOURCE The Health Project