CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The National Business Group on Health chose Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) as one of the best employers in the nation for healthy lifestyles. BCBSNC received a gold award for its commitment and dedication to combating obesity and promoting a healthy lifestyle for its employees.
BCBSNC was among 41 employers honored. Winners of the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards were honored in one of three categories: platinum, for established programs with measurable outcomes; gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who have made a commitment to long-term behavior changes; and silver, for those employers who have launched significant programs or services to promote living a healthier lifestyle. This is the second consecutive year that BCBSNC has been recognized by the National Business Group on Health.
“We laid the foundation for healthy employees by creating an environment that reduces barriers, adds incentives and offers programs with appropriate follow-up to make it easy for employees to make healthy choices,” said Bob Greczyn, BCBSNC president and CEO. “We believe wellness is a shared responsibility between employer and employee. We want to help our employees make better-informed decisions when it comes to their health.”
BCBSNC has a three-pronged approach to employee wellness, focusing equally on nutrition, physical activity and overall health. The company’s goal has been to create a culture of wellness that supports employees to change their behaviors and seek healthier lifestyles.
Since 2005, all BCBSNC locations have been tobacco-free. In 2006, BCBSNC employees lost a collective 700 pounds during a quarterly wellness challenge. Healthy dining choices in company cafeterias and vending machines were also implemented. Annual clinical screenings and health risk appraisals help employees identify their risk factors and learn about lifestyle changes that can improve their health. Last year, more than 85 percent of employees took part in the screenings.
“I participated in one of the wellness programs because it motivated me and held me accountable,” said Denise Parker, a BCBSNC customer service specialist. “I wanted to lose weight, and these programs taught me what to do instead of just guessing. It’s really helped to have an employer do something for my health, not just talk about it.”
Now in its third year, the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards acknowledge and reward those employers that recognize the urgent need to improve their workers’ health, productivity and quality of life. The underlying goal of the program is to serve as a catalyst to encourage all employers to take action.
The National Business Group on Health is the nation’s only nonprofit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to health care and benefits issues.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.4 million members, including approximately 748,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 73 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.