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Employers Take Active Role in Promoting Workplace Wellness
Date:7/14/2008

arolina in the EC@W initiative, a successful workplace walking program that evaluated its impact on worker engagement. She also discussed Food Lion's innovative workplace wellness initiatives that include nutritional counseling, mammograms, flu shots, and smoking cessation resources.

"Decreasing illness and increasing productivity are integral to maintaining and attracting a skilled workforce," said Fulcher. "Food Lion is committed to offering a robust benefit package and being a resource for our employees. As an employer, we feel it is our responsibility to educate our associates on the many wellness resources available to them to encourage a healthier lifestyle."

Richard Lueders, director of compensation and benefits for DTE Energy in Detroit, Michigan, discussed his company's disease management initiatives and participation in the Blue Care Network of Michigan's Healthy Blue Living(SM) program which rewards members who pursue health goals with enhanced benefits at lower costs. Over a three-year period, DTE's disease management programs resulted in savings of more than $2.2 million in reduction in work days missed.

"We are committed to creating a workplace that supports employee health and wellness," said Lueders. "Implementing wellness programs, including the Healthy Blue Living Program, has successfully increased productivity and reduced costs. It's a win-win partnership."

Helen Darling, NBGH president, discussed findings from their recent survey of what employees want from employers in terms of health improvement. According to the NBGH survey, 80 percent of employees felt that employers should be involved in providing healthcare information to employees and 66 percent of employees support having discounts or rewards for those who have healthy lifestyles.

"Employers are putting a much higher priority on wellness and lifestyle improvement programs than ever before," said Darling. "Employers understand that investment in health a
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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