National Business Group on Health Recognizes HealthyQuest Program for Fifth Consecutive Year
MADISON, N.J., June 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, announced today that the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) has awarded its 2009 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles Platinum Award to the company for its HealthyQuest employee wellness program. The Platinum Award is presented to NBGH member companies that have established employee wellness programs with measurable success and documented outcomes. 2009 marks Quest Diagnostics' first year receiving the Platinum Award, which is the NBGH's highest honor. The company received the Gold Award in 2008 and 2007 and the Silver Award in 2006 and 2005.
"As a 2009 Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles Platinum Award recipient, Quest Diagnostics is at the vanguard of a national movement to promote a system-wide culture of health emphasizing prevention, exercise, and eating right," said Helen Darling, President of the National Business Group on Health. "More than ever, a healthy workforce is critical to helping America's large employers compete in the global marketplace. Quest Diagnostics is to be applauded for making health and wellness an integral part of their workplace."
Through its HealthyQuest employee wellness initiative, Quest Diagnostics aims to foster a workplace culture that encourages healthful behaviors. HealthyQuest is centered on the company's Blueprint for Wellness(TM) risk assessment service, which is available to 41,000 eligible employees as well as their spouses or domestic partners. The Blueprint for Wellness service uses assessments of an individual's laboratory testing results and lifestyle choices to produce a personalized report identifying health risks and opportunities for improvement. Armed with information from the Blueprint for Wellness assessment, employees can access the company's diverse educational and support programs, which are supported by hundreds of employee volunteers, to make lifestyle changes. Programs include physical fitness, weight and stress management resources and tobacco cessation counseling.
Between 2005 and 2008, the HealthyQuest program has helped Quest Diagnostics employees to measurably lower their health risks by adopting healthier behaviors. Key accomplishments include:
Tobacco Cessation: Employee tobacco usage dropped to an all-time low--12.7 percent--in 2008, compared to the national average of 21% (National Health Interview Survey, 2006). About 3,600 individuals who have enrolled in the program have quit smoking.
Colorectal Cancer Screening: In 2007, HealthyQuest launched an initiative to raise employee compliance with colorectal cancer screening using the FDA-cleared InSure(R) Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)(TM), which is designed for use in screening for sources of lower gastrointestinal bleeding. In 2008, more than 5,500 employees, spouses, and domestic partners--about 25 percent of those who were eligible for the program--used and returned the InSure FIT test.
Healthier Food Choices: Through HealthyQuest, the company has also improved the nutritional quality of food served at onsite cafeterias and vending machines.
In addition, in 2008, the company created a "Wellness Ambassador" position, also referred to as director of Employer Wellness Initiatives. Bill Germanakos, the 2007 season winner of the NBC television program The Biggest Loser(R), assumed this new position following several years as a Quest Diagnostics sales representative. During the series, Germanakos lost 164 pounds--or 49.1 percent of his body weight--in 34 weeks, dramatically improving his health. As Wellness Ambassador, he frequently talks with Quest Diagnostics employees about the favorable impact that losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle has had on his health, family and career.
"HealthyQuest has made a considerable difference in the quality of health of our employees," said David W. Norgard, vice president, Human Resources, Quest Diagnostics. "Our comprehensive program is designed to educate, support, and, through a team of on-site volunteers, motivate employees to take control of their health and prevent health risks from escalating into serious health conditions. Our expertise as the nation's leading diagnostic testing provider uniquely positions us to implement successful wellness initiatives, both for our own employees as well as for the employees of clients of our Blueprint for Wellness risk assessment tool."
"Colleagues tell us that HealthyQuest has helped them to make important lifestyle changes, anticipate and act earlier than they may have otherwise on major medical problems, like diabetes or cancer, and halt destructive behaviors, such as poor diet or smoking," said Fred R. Williams, Quest Diagnostics director of Health Management Strategies. "Our business is seeing a positive return, and that is important for the sustainability of the program. But on most days, that benefit pales in comparison to the e-mail from an employee who describes an early intervention into colon cancer as a result of our initiative as '...my Best Christmas gift ever!' or the message that 'HealthyQuest is probably the best thing that has happened to me over the last 5 years...I'm excited about the path I am on, and thank HealthyQuest, and all my weight loss team members, for helping to keep me focused on my weight loss goals.'"
About Blueprint for Wellness
The Quest Diagnostics Blueprint for Wellness health-risk assessment service uses laboratory data to help individuals identify potential health risks and monitor wellness. The service is provided to health-conscious companies that wish to implement employee wellness initiatives to help reduce employees' greatest health risks, as measured by laboratory test results, for healthier employees and lower healthcare costs. Employers can elect as many as 30 laboratory tests to help employees, through confidential risk assessments identify, understand and monitor their risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other conditions against their long-term health goals. Quest Diagnostics also provides an online Blueprint for Wellness service through which health conscious individuals may select affordable, quality laboratory testing panels through a secure Google Health record.
For more information, visit www.blueprintforwellness.com.
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--including 60 of the Fortune 100--devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues. The NBGH identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. NBGH members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the NBGH, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at: www.QuestDiagnostics.com.
Quest Diagnostics Contacts:
Wendy Bost (Media): 973-520-2800
Laure Park (Investors): 973-520-2900
|SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated|
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