Health Care Service Corporation Recognized by American Heart Association for Workplace Health Achievement
August 20, 2018
Index acknowledges company’s initiatives in support of employee health
CHICAGO (August 20, 2018) – The American Heart Association’s 2018 Workplace Health Achievement Index awarded Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) Gold-level recognition for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace. HCSC operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
“We work hard to promote a culture of wellness that helps our employees be at their best and live their best lives – body, mind and spirit – the same thing we want for our members and communities,” said Opella Ernest, M.D., HCSC’s chief clinical officer and member of the American Heart Association’s Metro Chicago Board of Directors. “The Index helps us track progress around the comprehensiveness and quality of our workplace health programs and the overall heart health of our employees. This recognition acknowledges the commitment of our teams who shape our wellness programs and the employees who invest in themselves through healthy behaviors.”
HCSC employees are encouraged to take advantage of workplace resources that can help them make healthy food and lifestyle choices, reduce stress and incorporate physical movement into their day. In addition to sending daily and weekly emails related to various health and wellbeing topics, an online wellness portal gives employees an interactive experience to assist in making healthy lifestyle choices. The company also uses a designated symbol and brand in company cafeterias and micro-markets to identify healthy foods based on specific nutrition criteria per USDA dietary guidelines and input from staff dietitians.
More than 300 wellbeing champions throughout the company are responsible for communicating wellbeing programs and are given autonomy to create programs and events specific to the needs of the employees at their individual office sites. Each year, 16 service centers compete for the company’s Hope Award, given to the office that has demonstrated a commitment to their employees’ health by providing a thriving wellness environment. A full-service fitness center that offers access to exercise equipment and fitness classes, including yoga, is available at each of the company’s five headquarter facilities for employees to purchase memberships. Indoor and outdoor facility walking maps are available for employees to track their distance on designated walking routes. At the HCSC headquarters and throughout Chicago, the company’s Illinois health plan sponsors a Divvy bike-share program and employees have access to rent bikes at more than 570 stations.
The American Heart Association created the Index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 40 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health. The Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs. A unique feature of the Index is that it calculates an average heart health score for employees of participating companies that securely submit aggregate health data.
More than 1,000 companies completed the Index assessment this year and, of those companies, 75 percent received either Gold, Silver, or Bronze recognition. Companies receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement so that they can advance their annual performance and recognition in the Index and help their workforce move toward ideal heart health.
The Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index allows companies to measure the effectiveness of their workplace health programs as well as the overall heart health of their employees. Unlike other existing organizational scorecards, the Index also scores companies on the heart health of their employees based on Life’s Simple 7® – the Association’s scientifically validated definition of ideal heart health. The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index assessment is grounded in data-driven science and a quality improvement framework. According to the Nielsen 2016 Employee Health Survey, robust and comprehensive strategies for wellbeing are associated with positive impacts on employees’ health.