Cook Medical in Winston-Salem Achieves National American Heart Association Start Fit-Friendly Company Recognition
October 12, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C, October 12, 2009 — The American Heart Association is proud to announce that Cook Medical's Endoscopy division in Winston-Salem has achieved National recognition as a Gold level Start! Fit-Friendly company for promoting physical activity and health in the workplace.
Nationally, the American Heart Association recognized more than 1,200 companies in 2009 — an all-time high. More than 2 million employees participated in the programs.
Start! Fit-Friendly Companies reach Gold level status by implementing various activities and programs to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools.In 2007 Cook established a Wellness Committee, which designs and implements programs to encourage and promote a more active and healthy workplace. This initial step has lead to the development of many new and unique programs and activities as well as the establishment of Endoscopy's on-site Fitness Center, a facility open and free for all of Cook Medical's employees based in Winston-Salem.
Cook also added a full-time certified fitness trainer who guides the programs and has worked to institute a variety of different opportunities, such as the SnackSmart Vending program, a healthy snacks program for the campus' vending machines. There's also a Healthy Food Samples Program for the cafeteria, in which healthy food options are sampled monthly in the cafeteria and added to the cafeteria menu based on the employees' response to those foods. Fitness Challenges throughout the year, group exercise programs and flexible work hours are programs all designed to encourage group participation and use of the company's fitness programs and facilities.
“With the nation's rise in obesity and the escalating cost of health care, one of Cook Medical's priorities is the health and wellness of our employees,” said Tamisha Clark, general manager for the Endoscopy division. “We are honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our efforts to help our employees live healthier lives.”
The association also released a policy statement in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association that shows worksite wellness programs are proven to prevent the major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These include smoking, overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.In the Circulation policy paper, the association found that companies can save up to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to18 months of implementing a worksite wellness program. Each employee who works to lower their risk status saves their company an estimated $53 per year; these savings remain each year that employee maintains the low-risk level.
“This paper demonstrates that companies that promote worksite wellness are achieving higher levels of productivity, reducing turnover, and some are even reducing healthcare costs,” says Jeff McPherson, vice president of corporate relations for the American Heart Association in the Triad.To view the complete list of the 2009 Start! Fit-Friendly Companies, or to apply for recognition, visit startwalkingnow.org. Applications are available to download and should be completed before the Jan. 31, 2010 deadline.
Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY® restaurants, Healthy Choice® and AstraZeneca ®, and locally by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
About Cook Medical
Founded in 1963, Cook Medical helped invent and popularize interventional medicine, pioneering many of the devices now commonly used worldwide to perform minimally invasive medical procedures throughout the body. Today, the company integrates minimally invasive medical devices, drugs and biologics to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes. Since its inception, Cook has operated as a family-held private corporation focused on providing superior patient outcomes while reducing health care costs. For more information, visit www.cookmedical.com. You may sign up to follow Cook Medical on Twitter at twitter.com/cookmedicalpr.
About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, we're the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases — America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers — we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.
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