(Des Moines, Iowa) — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been recertified as a Platinum Well Workplace by the Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA). The Platinum Well Workplace Award represents the acme of results-oriented worksite wellness programming.
“By successfully meeting these rigorous health promotion standards,” said WELCOA President Dr. David Hunnicutt in announcing the award, “you have once again, clearly demonstrated your commitment to improving the health and well-being of your most valuable asset—your employees. Moreover, by achieving this designation for a second time, your organization will continue to be recognized by the Wellness Councils of America as one of the nation's healthiest companies."
Wellmark earned its first platinum designation in 2005. At the time, Hunnicutt noted, “There are health insurance companies all across the country that expect their clients to embrace good health, but the irony is health insurance companies can be some of the unhealthiest organizations in the United States. This is not the case with Wellmark, and that’s what makes this Award especially noteworthy.”
Laura Jackson, Wellmark senior vice president, Human Resources, accepted the award at WELCOA’s 18th annual Conference on Worksite Wellness, held September 23 at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Des Moines.
“We are delighted to again receive WELCOA’s Platinum Well Workplace distinction,” Jackson said. “At Wellmark, we believe it’s important to foster a culture of health that emphasizes and supports wellness and healthy behaviors through educating and empowering employees to take charge of their health.
“Our programs, such as Pathways to Wellness, Eating Well at Wellmark, and Custom Fit, have each demonstrated measureable improvement in impacting the health of our employees in Iowa and South Dakota. Receiving this award is further confirmation that we are doing the right thing.”
The Platinum designation has been bestowed only on 37 companies nationwide since its inception in 2001. Five of those companies are from Iowa.
As WELCOA’s highest designation, the Platinum Award is granted only to organizations that have previously achieved a Gold Well Workplace designation and are now linking health promotion objectives to business outcomes. In 2002, Wellmark was recognized by WELCOA with a Gold Well Workplace Award.
The Well Workplace Award initiative is a national competition where companies of all sizes and types submit extensive applications highlighting their health promotion programming efforts. To qualify, companies must provide extensive documentation on seven specific benchmarks: Senior Level Support, Wellness Teams, Data Collection, Strategic Operating Plan, Interventions and Programs, Supportive Environments, and Evaluation of Outcomes.
Wellmark, Inc. does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than two million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
To learn more about the Well Workplace Awards initiative, please visit WELCOA’s Web site at http://www.welcoa.org/wellworkplace/.