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National Business Group on Health Honors 48 U.S. Employers With "Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles" Awards


May 24, 2011 - WASHINGTON, DC

The National Business Group on Health today honored four dozen U.S. employers for their ongoing commitment to promoting healthy work environments and encouraging workers to live healthier lifestyles. A total of 48 employers, including 5 first-time winners, were presented with "2011 'Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles'" awards at the Business Group's Institute on Innovation in Workforce Well-being Leadership Summit held in Washington, DC.

Now in its seventh year, the "Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles" awards annually acknowledge those employers that have responded to the urgent need to improve their workers' health, productivity and quality of life. The underlying goal of the program is to encourage all employers to take action.

Helen Darling, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, commented: "Employer interest in creating healthy workplaces and a healthy workforce is at an all-time high as controlling health care costs remains a top priority. Employers have learned that it will be very hard, if not impossible to control cots if employees and family members have unhealthy lifestyles and related serious health conditions. The 48 employers we are recognizing this year have consistently demonstrated a commitment to providing innovative workplace health improvement programs that encourage healthier lifestyles for employees and their families."

"This year more than ever, employers are taking their wellness and health management programs to new levels," said LuAnn Heinen, Vice President of the National Business Group on Health, who has overseen the awards program since its inception in 2005. "Employers are no longer just putting in wellness programs for the sake of having one but instead are actively taking steps to promote these programs with the goal of having their workers fully engaged. The innovation and commitment that employers are demonstrating indicates just how serious they are about building a healthier work environment and a healthier workforce. We congratulate all of the winning companies for their remarkable efforts."

Winners of the 2011 "Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles" awards were honored in one of two categories: Platinum, for established workplace well-being programs with measurable success and documented outcomes; and Gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who are committed to long-term behavior changes.

The National Business Group on Health also recognized American Express and Intel Corporation with "Global Distinction" awards. This is the first time the Business Group has recognized companies that are developing and improving approaches to affect the physical, psychological and emotional health, well-being and productivity of global employees and their dependents. The "Global Distinction" designation does not honor any specific wellness initiatives but rather acknowledges corporate efforts on various fronts, ranging from headquarters to the country setting that address a number of health challenges -- from effective health communication efforts to specific covered benefits.

"We believe the time is right to recognize companies that are addressing the health of their global workforces. Wellness programs and health promotion are accepted approaches for improving the physical, mental and emotional health of U.S.-based employees. Although global wellness is a relatively new and quickly maturing focus area, both American Express and Intel Corporation have already made great strides toward positively impacting the health and lives of their worldwide employees and we are delighted to recognize both organizations for their efforts," said Darling.

The winners in each category are:

PLATINUM

Aetna
Baptist Health South Florida**
Cardinal Health
Cerner Corporation
CIGNA
Dell Inc.
Hewlett-Packard Company*
IBM
Intel Corporation#**
Lowe's
Medtronic
Michelin North America
Pitney Bowes **
Prudential Financial
Quest Diagnostics**
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
Union Pacific Railroad**
UnitedHealth Group*
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center/UPMC Health Plan
Visant Corporation**

GOLD

American Express#
American Specialty Health Incorporated
ARAMARK
BD
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Campbell Soup Company**
Chrysler Group, LLC
Compass Group
Cummins Inc.
Erie Insurance
General Dynamics Electric Boat
General Mills**
Healthways
H. J. Heinz Company
JPMorgan Chase
Kaiser Permanente*
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region*
NextEra Energy, Inc.
Paychex, Inc.
Quad/Graphics
Saint-Gobain
Sisters of Mercy Health System*
Sprint**
Target Corporation**
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Unilever
Unum**
WellPoint, Inc.

* Denotes first time winner
** Denotes winner for five consecutive years (since 2007)
# Denotes global distinction

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues and to being the voice for large employers on national health care issues. The Business Group, whose 325 members include 66 of the Fortune 100, identifies, develops and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 55 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

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Contact:
Ed Emerman
609-275-5162
eemerman@eaglepr.com

MarketWire

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