Wednesday, March 24, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Presbyterian Healthcare has been awarded platinum-level recognition as a Start! Fit-Friendly company by the American Heart Association (AHA), one of just four organizations in the greater Charlotte area to do so. Presbyterian has held gold-level status for the past two years.
In order to receive Start! Fit-Friendly recognition, companies must demonstrate a commitment to promoting exercise and healthy eating habits in the workplace. The AHA awards four different levels of Fit-Friendly status; from lowest to highest, they are: community innovation, worksite innovation, gold level and platinum level. Platinum level, the highest possible level of recognition, is awarded annually. It is reserved for organizations that fulfill all of the gold level criteria, which include:
- Offering employees physical activity support
- Increasing healthy eating options at work
- Promoting a wellness culture
- Implementing at least six of the physical activities, two of the nutrition activities and one of the culture activities identified by the AHA
In addition to fulfilling the gold level criteria, companies who wish to achieve platinum level status must:
- Demonstrate at least one behavior change specified by the AHA
- Achieve at least one cost savings outcome specified by the AHA
- Achieve a positive return on investment that is documented by supporting data
"At Presbyterian, we want to do more than treat disease - we want to prevent it," said Jason Bernd, vice president of cardiovascular services and leader of the Presbyterian Cardiovascular Institute. "As an organization, we made a commitment to investing in wellness programs and initiatives. As a result, our employees live healthier lives and are better able to provide remarkable care to our patients."
Enrollment in the company's COMPASS employee wellness program in 2010 represented a 75% increase from 2009. The voluntary, incentive-based program encourages members to participate in health initiatives and educational programs. It includes a self-management program in addition to wellness and disease management navigators. The COMPASS team provides support, encouragement and resources to help enrolled employees meet their goals and achieve a healthier, happier way of life. As a result, nine percent of Presbyterian employees reduced their body mass index over the last year, and overall health risk calculations improved by better than eight percent.
To learn how you can live a healthier lifestyle, or for more information about Presbyterian's programs, classes and services, visit presbyterian.novantonline.org.