New Accreditation Leads to Healthy Workplaces
COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Leaders from business, government, academia and nonprofits joined with US Healthiest™ today to launch HealthLead™, the first accreditation for healthy workplaces. HealthLead is a new rating system that helps companies and organizations improve employee health as a business performance strategy. It is modeled on LEED™ certification for green buildings which has rapidly made environmental sustainability a business priority.
Following two years of development and pilot testing of a comprehensive set of standards and application and evaluation processes, HealthLead was publicly released today at a forum at The Ohio State University. The first 12 employers to earn HealthLead accreditation were recognized by U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health Howard Koh, MD, MPH, other dignitaries and peers. Nine of the newly-accredited employers shared their best strategies, policies and programs for employee health during the forum.
HealthLead provides independent, third party verification that an employer meets high standards for a culture, environment, policies, benefits and programs that support employee well being. Employers use HealthLead's standards to set and prioritize goals and measure their progress. Workforce health has become crucial not only to control health care costs but also to enhance U.S. competitiveness and community vitality.
"The HealthLead accreditation process provides organizations with an objective lens to examine current health management and well-being practices. It provides new insights into making value-based investment decisions that add to businesses' bottom lines while protecting, supporting and engaging their number one asset – their people," said Nick Baird, MD, Chief Executive Officer of US Healthiest.
"As the US Green Business Council's LEED certification sets the standard for sustainable building practices, we expect HealthLead to be widely embraced as the standard for healthy, sustainable workplaces," said Paul Jarris, MD, MBA, Chair of US Healthiest.
HealthLead-accredited employers range from Fortune 500s to fewer than 100 workers and cover the business, academic, nonprofit and public sectors. Employers receiving accreditation and participating in the forum included the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (Arlington, VA), DTE Energy (Detroit, MI), HealthPartners (Minneapolis, MN), ING DIRECT (Minneapolis, MN), OhioHealth (Columbus, OH), The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), Shape Corp. (Grand Haven, MI), Target Corporation (Minneapolis, MN), and Worthington Industries (Columbus, OH). Also receiving accreditation were: Intel (Santa Clara, CA), Monterey County Public Health Department (Salinas, CA); and Alamance Regional Medical Center (Burlington, NC).
To guide development of the HealthLead accreditation criteria, US Healthiest convened an independent panel of experts including scholars, business and nonprofit managers and public health experts. The standards are based on public health and worksite health promotion research and best practices. Thirteen employers pilot tested the criteria and application and evaluation processes. US Healthiest used feedback from the employers to make the application process more user-friendly. Employers of all sizes and sectors will be able to apply for HealthLead accreditation beginning July 2nd.
Participating executives hailed the value of HealthLead:
"We are thrilled to have HealthLead recognize The Ohio State University's commitment to improving the health and well-being of our campus community," said Kathleen McCutcheon, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for OSU. "The accreditation process validated areas in which we currently excel, including proactively engaging faculty and staff in their own health awareness. We will continue to leverage our resources and expertise across our medical center, health plan, and university functions to become the healthiest university on the globe."
"At HealthPartners, health is what we do and partnership is how we do it. We believe that an integrated approach to well-being through partnership is the key to achieving and sustaining employee and organizational health. The comprehensiveness of HealthLead helped to validate our wellness framework and pointed out where we had gaps. Participating in HealthLead helped us better tell our story; and learn valuable lessons that we can share internally and with other employers," said Calvin U. Allen, Sr. Vice President, Strategic Planning & HR, HealthPartners.
As HealthLead for the workplace goes live, Ohio State and US Healthiest plan to collaborate on the development of a health and wellness assessment for institutions of higher education, leading to a version of HealthLead accreditation for colleges and universities.
For more information about HealthLead and US Healthiest, go to www.ushealthiest.org.
US Healthiest is a nonprofit, public-private collaboration co-founded by CDC and state and local public health organizations. We exist to catalyze action and social engagement in support of the vision, "To Make US the Healthiest Nation in a Healthier World." US Healthiest seeks to create a social movement promoting health and well-being everywhere people live, learn, work, and play. We want to find new ways to solve perennial problems of health and well-being, encourage people to make healthy choices, and create a social and physical environment that advances healthy living and well-being.
LEED is a trademark of the U.S. Green Business Council which is not affiliated with US Healthiest or HealthLead.Media Contact:
John Clymer, US Healthiest, 202-903-7303, email@example.com
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