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UPMC and UPMC Health Plan Recognized Nationally for Quality Leadership in Employee Health and Productivity

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission (CDMSC) has chosen the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) as the recipient of its 2007 Quality Leadership Award, in recognition of the organization's innovative programs to promote the health and productivity of its workforce.

The award was presented today at the National Business Group on Health's 2007 Joint Forum on Health, Productivity, and Absence Management in Washington, D.C. The NBGH Forum is a key annual conference in the health and productivity industry, attracting employers as both attendees and presenters. Each year, the CDMSC - the only independent, nationally accredited organization that certifies disability management specialists - honors a company, organization, or individual for demonstrating leadership in disability management.

"UPMC provides a powerful example of how employers are discovering the importance of helping employees become healthier and stay healthier through a variety of programs, all of which promote productivity whether at work or at home," commented Renee Mattaliano, Chair of the CDMSC.

The collaboration between UPMC and its health insurance division works to promote health and productivity among UPMC employees through several innovative initiatives, including:

-- Global Assessment for Triage and Engagement (GATE), which occurs on

every staff member entering the disability benefits process, ensures

that appropriate levels of case management and health advocacy

resources are assigned at the onset of a case for optimal outcomes. The

program includes a holistic clinical evaluation by a specially trained

nurse case manager to assess health risks and identify cases that need

early invention, including referrals to other programs.

-- EAP - Work Transitions, specifically designed for staff members who are

receiving disability benefits, brings together an array of psychosocial

and work-life balance services and resources to support health,

productivity, and return-to-work. This includes mental health

screening, assessment, intervention, and referral; regular telephonic

monitoring and support; psycho-educational skill building and training;

resource identification and referral; formal work-life services

referral; and counseling and coaching on adjusting to return-to-work.

-- UPMC MyHealth "We've Got Your Back" program, providing information

about safe lifting, injury prevention, and the importance of general

and muscular fitness. Components include on-site physical assessment,

tools for improving core stability and overall strength, and telephonic

health coaching.

"We recognize that our future success is dependent upon our people," commented John Galley, Vice President - Compensation, Benefits, and HRIS of UPMC. "We are in an industry where the supply of labor has not kept pace with the need. Good, talented people are in demand, including nurses, pharmacists, and other clinical and non-clinical personnel. With the labor market tight and likely to be tighter in the future, we want to make investments in our people to make sure they are as healthy, satisfied, and productive as they can be."

An important component in UPMC's approach to health and productivity is an emphasis on wellness, especially identifying health risks before they become a chronic condition or disease.

UPMC Health Plan will present its "groundbreaking and innovative research" on workplace wellness during today's Joint Forum. The Health Plan's presentation, "How to Leverage Integrated Scorecards and Predictive Modeling to Promote a Culture of Health and Productivity," was one of only 12 selected nationally from a variety of national and regional corporations involved with health care coverage and benefits.

"We are working to create a culture of health within a diverse workforce that has multiple needs and multiple risks," said Diane P. Holder, Executive Vice President of UPMC, and President of UPMC Insurance Services Division and UPMC Health Plan. "Helping employees learn more about what it takes to stay healthy, or providing resources to those with chronic conditions, will result in lasting benefits to both the individual and their employer."

The research features aggregate quantitative results from UPMC's 46,000 employees. The presentation includes lost work time models designed to provide results that motivate employers to promote a culture of wellness in the workplace. The ultimate goal is to improve the health and welfare of employees.

For more information on the 2007 Joint Form on Health, please see the National Business Group on Health website at /.

About UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan, the second-largest health insurer in Western Pennsylvania, is owned by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), one of the nation's top-ranked health systems. The integrated partner companies of the UPMC Insurance Services Division - which includes UPMC Health Plan, Work Partners, EAP Solutions, UPMC for You (Medical Assistance), and Community Care Behavioral Health - offer a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers' compensation products and services to nearly 1 million members. Our local provider network includes UPMC as well as community providers, totaling more than 80 hospitals and more than 7,500 physicians in a 29-county region. For more information, visit

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