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Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania Receives Workplace Wellness Honor

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
April 5, 2012

Nationally designated for third time as “Well Workplace”

April 5, 2012, Wilkes-Barre, PA — The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), one of the nation's premier resources for workplace wellness, has designated Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) as a Gold Level 2012 Well Workplace Award winner.

This marks the third time that BCNEPA has received Gold Level honors, a level that recognizes organizations for developing comprehensive programs that produce results.

According to WELCOA, a "Well Workplace" is an organization that fully embraces its responsibility for maximizing the health and well-being of its employees.  Additionally, in a Well Workplace Award winning organization, employee wellness has become part of the overall business strategy.  

“We initiated our wellness programs for the benefit of our employees, because they are our most valuable resource,” said Dr. Nina Taggart, Vice President of Clinical Operations for BCNEPA.  “Earning recognition like this from an organization as respected as WELCOA emphasizes the value of these programs. It speaks to our commitment as an employer to support each employee in leading a healthy lifestyle.”

BCNEPA received Gold Level recognition by successfully integrating the seven benchmarks of results-oriented programs: capturing CEO support, creating cohesive wellness teams, collecting data to drive health efforts, carefully crafting an operating plan, choosing appropriate interventions, creating a supportive environment and carefully evaluating outcomes.

“Through the success of our employee wellness program, we were able to reduce our medical care costs in 2011 from what we experienced in 2010,” said TJ Fjelseth, BCNEPA’s Vice President of Human Resources.  “Additionally, our medical care costs for employees engaged in the wellness program are substantially lower than the national trend.”

Employees who are engaged in the wellness program complete activities such as health assessments, wellness exams and calls with health coaches to ensure that they are properly managing risk factors like body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Engaged employees who complete the activities earn monetary incentives that can be used to pay for expenses such as deductibles and prescriptions.  “When employees control more of their health care spending, they make more informed decisions about their care, and that has helped us better manage costs,” noted Fjelseth. 

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to approximately 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.