O'Neal Industries and McKesson Corporation Receive C. Everett Koop National Health Awards for Efforts to Improve Employee Health and Reduce Costs

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- About half of companies with 50 or more employees report that they have at least one health promotion program in place. For large companies, this jumps to over 90 percent. However, not all wellness programs can document health improvements for their employees and cost savings. To make sure that workplace health promotion programs apply evidence-based practices and significantly reduce expenditures, companies must adopt high-impact programs and periodically evaluate their results.

To recognize organizations with outstanding health promotion programs that produce documented health improvements and cost savings, The Health Project announced today that O'Neal Industries and McKesson Corporation have won the 2015 C. Everett Koop National Health Awards. To apply for the award, organizations submit data to a volunteer group of experts who form the review committee for The Health Project. The application requires quantitative evidence that the company's wellness programs produced significant improvements in workers' health and at the same time saved money for the organization.

"Successful organizations understand that employee well-being is enhanced when a culture of health is ingrained into the organization's norms, values and beliefs," said Dr. Ron Goetzel, president and CEO of The Health Project. "O'Neal Industries and McKesson Corporation have adopted effective and sustainable health promotion programs that help employees and their families improve their health. At the same time, these programs save money and provide high value on investment."

O'Neal Industries (ONI) is the parent organization of a group of closely affiliated companies that, together, forms the nation's largest family-owned metals service center, employing about 3,000 people worldwide. In 2011, ONI introduced ONI LIVESMART as its signature health and wellness program. Designed using best practices and evidence-based research, the program encourages employees and family members to have healthy lifestyles by supporting their efforts to maintain or improve their health. The ONI LIVESMART program has kept employees actively involved, with over 82 percent employee participation. Based on an evaluation of repeat health measures from 2011-2014, risk reduction was seen in body mass index, blood pressure, blood glucose, physical inactivity, triglyceride levels and tobacco use. The program has achieved net cost savings of about half a million dollars annually and a positive return-on-investment (ROI) of $1.52 for every dollar spent.

McKesson Corporation has been actively seeking to improve the health of its workforce since 2007. Beginning with a simple program that offered health risk assessments and screening to help employees understand their health risks, the health promotion program has evolved to incorporate a wide range of evidence-based initiatives. Between 2011 and 2014, participants increased their involvement in the program from an average of 21 to 106 activities per year, with 83 percent of employees and spouses completing at least one health promoting activity in 2014. From 2012 to 2014, on-the-job performance increased by 3.6 percent, as measured by the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire, with the greatest increase seen for employees with the highest level of program utilization. Independent assessment indicates that early savings exceed program costs. A multi-year investment of $12.2 million in the program has produced a positive ROI for the company.

"The 2015 Koop Awards are going to an exceptional group of high-performing programs with solid and credible data," said Dr. Jim Fries, Chief Science Officer for The Health Project and Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. "These companies showed program improvements over several years and often used outside experts in evaluating their efforts. This is more proof that well-designed and thoughtfully implemented health promotion programs deliver solid results!"

The Health Project has been awarding annual prizes to organizations with proven health improvement and cost saving programs since 1994. More than 50 winners have received the prestigious award since the organization was established, with Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General of the United States, as its honorary chairperson. Although Dr. Koop passed away in 2013 at the age of 96, his legacy and contributions to public health and health promotion live on.

This year, 11 applications were submitted for review to The Health Project Board of Directors. In addition to the 2015 award winners, PepsiCo and the University of Iowa received honorable mention recognition. The awards will be presented on September 30, 2015 at the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Forum in Chicago, IL.

Information about past C. Everett Koop National Health Award winners and their health promotion programs is available free at www.TheHealthProject.com. Details about the 2015 winners and the award application process will be available on the site in October.

About The Health Project (THP)

The Health Project (THP) is a non-profit private-public consortium dedicated to bringing about critical attitudinal and behavioral changes in the American health care system, so that providers and consumers employ its vast resources with increasing knowledge and understanding. THP's mission is to seek out, evaluate, promote, and distribute programs with demonstrated effectiveness in influencing personal health habits and the cost effective use of health care services. The C. Everett Koop National Health Awards are given each year to worksite, community or provider programs, which have soundly documented improved health and decreased medical costs.

SOURCE The Health Project

Posted September 16, 2015
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