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Leading by Example: Blue Care Network of Michigan Shows How Employers Can Improve Employee Wellness
Date:11/26/2007

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In keeping with its commitment to wellness, and following advice it gives to other businesses, Blue Care Network of Michigan, a leading HMO in the state, is building a culture that promotes health and wellness among its own employees at the workplace.

BCN, which is the HMO affiliated with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, earlier this year instituted Wellness Works!, an employee health and fitness program for its own employees who work in offices across the state. The program has made several changes to promote wellness in BCN's work environment:
* At BCN's Southfield offices, the cafeteria vendor lowered by 25 percent

the price of 10 healthy items, including vegetables and fruits, and

raised the price of its 10 unhealthiest foods.

* Many candy bars in BCN vending machines vanished, replaced with

healthier choices.

* A six-month competition encouraged employees to walk and take part in a

weight loss challenge. A total of 817 employees, or 65 percent of the

BCN workforce, participated in the challenges. They walked 344,725

miles - equivalent to 14 trips around the Earth - and lost 2,100

pounds.

* Pedometers were provided to all employees signed up for the walking

contest.

* Employee health fairs have been held every six months.

* Automatic blood pressure machines are now in all BCN facilities. "Wellness Works! helps our employees maintain and improve their health," said Pam Reinert, BCN director of quality management. "Wellness Works! also helps us walk our talk. We're proving that what we encourage other companies to do can be done: offering employees physical activity support, creating healthy eating options and promoting a culture of wellness."

Signs that BCN's Wellness Works! program is indeed working are the results from its inaugural statewide walking and weight loss competiti
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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