Partners’ Center for Connected Health: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Partners HealthCare Center for Connected Health's 2012 Progress Report Forward CurrentsEmployee wellness competition shown to statistically reduce weight, improve BMI and significantly greater satisfaction with weight by MGH employees

Partners’ Center for Connected Health (CCH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) at Revere partnered in a joint effort to improve employee wellness. Utilizing an activity monitor, 37 employees participated in a 6 month challenge to increase physical activity and decrease weight. Every month, employees experienced new and fresh program challenges such as the “buddy system,” “frenemies” and “top your highest score.” This wellness program measured step count, self-reported weight data, and dietary habits through surveys and activity data reports.

Employee weight and BMI decreased significantly during the six month program. On average, weight decreased by 4.56 lbs (M= 167.29, SD = 50.58) to M = 162.73, SD = 46.40); t(29) = -2.75, p = 0.010) and BMI decreased from a mean of 29.33 (SD = 8.66) to 28.52 (SD = 7.99) (t(25) = -2.52, p = 0.0186). In addition, employees reported being more satisfied with their weight at the end of the program (t(34) = 3.055, p = 0.004). There was no change in self-rated health.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

Employees agreed that since joining the program they were more likely to make choices that increased their physical activity (81%), felt better about themselves (70%), were better able to reach their physical activity goals (57%), and had improved weight control (56%). Seventy-seven percent agreed that competing with other employees helped them to be more active. Ninety-one percent said they were satisfied with the program.

Among the 37 employees that participated, 32 uploaded step count data, measured using wireless activity monitors. Average daily steps deceased from 5,597 in August to 3,226 in December (t(62) = -2.941, p = 0.0046). Self-reported days of exercise per week, however, increased from 2.2 (SD = 1.85) to 3.3 (SD = 1.78) days  (t(36) = 3.037, p = 0.004). There was no change in minutes of physical activity per week or in the proportion of employees who meet CDC recommended levels of activity. There was no change in fruit, vegetables, or soda consumed.

Overall, there was a statistically significant drop in weight, BMI and a significantly greater satisfaction with weight by MGH employees who participated in this employee wellness competition.

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Twitter: @connectedhealth

Capital BlueCross: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Here’s what Capital BlueCross President and CEO Gary D. St. Hilaire had to say about the strategic importance of the comprehensive wellness program available to company employees:

“Employees are our most important asset, and without question nothing is more important than their good health.  A key corporate priority is to enhance organizational and employee performance, which includes our comprehensive employee wellness program.  When employees are healthier, they are happier and more engaged in seeing the company succeed.  Living healthier is important for each of us personally and for the business.  On behalf of the entire management team, I wish all employees much success with their healthy endeavors.”

According to the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), a national non-profit organization that serves as a leader in the creation of employee health management research, education, policy, strategy, and infrastructure, Capital BlueCross offers its employees one of the most comprehensive employer-based wellness programs in the nation.  The Capital BlueCross Employee Wellness Program achieved a HERO Scorecard rating of 183 out of a possible 200 points. The average rating nationwide is 93.  Capital BlueCross also recently achieved the prestigious American Heart Association Fit Friendly Award.

Likewise, the wellness incentives Capital BlueCross offers employees are among the best in the nation.  According to standards set by the Wellness Council of America, taking into consideration the many programs that qualify for incentives, the different types of incentives available (gift cards, HSA contributions, special promotions), and the dollar value of incentives available.  By participating in a variety of voluntary screenings, wellness activities and healthy community events, employees have the opportunity to earn up to $650 in incentives for their healthy endeavors.

Capital BlueCross provides employees all of the following onsite:

  • Health clinics and fairs
  • Biometric, blood pressure and skin cancer screenings
  • State-of-the-art fitness facilities
  • One-on-one fitness, nutrition, stress management, weight management, tobacco management and other classes and coaching
  • Zumba, yoga and tai chi classes
  • Lactation area
  • Care management counseling
  • etc.

The Capital BlueCross Employee Wellness Program also offers employees an array of digital coaching and activity trackers to help employees successfully achieve their healthy endeavors.

A near $50,000 (127.7%) return on investment was achieved in 2012 for company-paid flu shots, when considering the impact to medical costs and productivity.  All told, Capital BlueCross realized a $1.7 million savings based on programs offered, participation and health/disability-related cost avoidance.

Active Health: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Empowering better health and wellness: A member success story

Meet Joe.* At 200 pounds, Joe realized he was overweight. He wanted to start eating right and exercising, but he couldn’t seem to find a way to make these activities a priority. Fortunately, Joe connected with ActiveHealth and gained support that helped him lose 40 pounds. Today he is healthier, happier and has reduced his risk for a variety of chronic conditions.

As a leading provider of integrated population health improvement services, ActiveHealth Management partners with employers to develop customized solutions that empower better health and wellness. We have recently enhanced our offerings by developing a multi-modal and personalized approach to health improvement. Joe is one of those members we were able to connect with and help along each step of his unique journey.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

ActiveHealth’s Care Engine® technology continuously reviews population health data and matches it with evidence-based clinical best practices to proactively identify gaps in care and opportunities to improve employee health. This system identified Joe, who had significant risk factors because of his sedentary lifestyle and the fact that he was 40 pounds overweight. ActiveHealth also captured Joe’s preference for one-on-one support through self-reported data. As a result, he was immediately referred to an ActiveHealth coaching program.   

A health coach connected with Joe to help him develop a personalized roadmap to reach his wellness goals. Our coaches are expertly trained at building strong relationships with individuals and determining the right course of action to meet their unique challenges. In Joe’s case, he needed help implementing an exercise plan, staying motivated and dealing with stress. His health coach helped him set realistic goals and provided the tools, information and support he needed.

Joe also had access to other ActiveHealth programs and services, including a completely refreshed online portal, on-site biometric screenings, mobile health applications, employee communications, incentive programs and much more.  Wherever Joe is, he has access to the guidance and resources he needs to stay on the path to better health. In addition, the tools give employers visibility into the impact the programs are having on population health so they can also see the success.

Over a nine month period, Joe reached a weight of 178 pounds. His early success, along with ongoing support from his ActiveHealth lifestyle coach, continues to motivate him to make positive lifestyle changes.

Visit to learn more. 

* Joe is a real member — we’ve simply changed his name to protect his privacy. 

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Twitter: @ActiveHealth

The Joslin Diabetes Center: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

The Joslin Diabetes Center’s Center of Excellence for People with Complex Diabetes

The economic impact of the diabetes pandemic has been estimated at some $245 billion each year by the American Diabetes Association. A significant portion of that cost falls on small businesses and corporations as the result of increasing cost of healthcare insurance, lost work and employee disability.

Diabetes can be managed, as a rule, with proper care (medication and education) and lifestyle modification. But there is mounting evidence that the “usual care” does not work for those employees who are most at risk for disease progression and increased complications leading to disability and high and costly utilization of the healthcare system.  Estimates maintain that this applies to about 25% of adults with diabetes, or about 2% of the adult workforce.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

Joslin Diabetes Center, in Boston, MA, has created the Center of Excellence (COE) for People with Complex Diabetes to address the need for an alternate form of care for these patients.  This program builds on Joslin’s long history of innovative clinical programming for individuals needing interventional re-orientation to their diabetes self-management. And it supported by a new, custom-built on-line infrastructure.

The COE program involves an intensive, one-week assessment, treatment and educational program at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. At the end of the week, the patient returns home and is followed for three months of e-clinical support, assessment and adjustment of medications and self-management programs (including the Weight Management on line program), as well as six months of e-coaching, web-based education and group interactions using an on-line chat room monitored by a Joslin educator.

Unlike standard diabetes treatment regimens in which the components are most often isolated and poorly coordinated, the COE follows the JoslinCare model of multidisciplinary, highly integrated care. Each patient is assessed for a full range of diabetes complications (eye, kidney, nerve, etc.) and is seen by a comprehensive team of doctors, nurses, psychologists, nutritionists, and educators who are all part of the Joslin Clinic staff.

At the conclusion of the one-week on-site visit, patients return home to their primary care providers. Joslin clinicians partner with patients’ home physicians throughout the program to maintain communication and ensure that the patient’s individualized plan has a sustained impact on medical care and self-care.

At six months, a virtual clinical assessment is conducted and reported to the patient, the primary care physician and the employer. Based on Joslin’s experience in similar programs, we anticipate that at six months, most patients will have achieved a clinically-meaningful drop in their blood glucose levels, along with weight loss, an increase in exercise frequency and compliance to a suggested diet.

For employers the cost of this program will be more than offset over two years through savings in the direct costs of care for diabetes and its complications and improvements in cost of work loss due to diabetes complications and disability.


Twitter: @JoslinDiabetes

Moda Health: Walk the Talk: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Walk the TalkModa Health: Walk the Talk

As a society, we are less physically active than we have ever been. The digital workplace and extended work days have made it difficult to find time for exercise. That’s where we come in.

As members of the wellness team at Moda Health, a Pacific Northwest company of high quality health plans, we decided to take a stand. We asked the hard questions. Imagine if we change the way we think of ourselves as company. Instead of focusing on treatment, symptoms, injury and disease, we work upstream to keep the healthy people…healthy.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

The Moda Health employee wellness program, known as Walk the Talk, began in August 2004. The most popular program to date is the Charity Challenge, a hybrid pedometer competition and charity fundraising event. This 5-week challenge consists of teams of employees tracking daily steps, participating in health activities and attending nonprofit walks in the community. Teams also create baskets and sell tickets to raise funds for charities. At the end of the competition, the top teams and individuals are recognized and are celebrated at a companywide event.

This year, 258 employees participated in Charity Challenge – 78 more than last year. The total number of steps taken was 101,081,038 and money raised was a whopping $10,133 for our nonprofit partners.

One Moda Health employee said of the challenge, “I am journaling my food and exercise and am down 11lbs. I’m really excited!” Another employee states, “It’s important [to participate] because we are a health company”.

Due to programs such as Charity Challenge, Moda Health executives have also taken note.

They hope it will assist employees in increasing or sustaining optimal health, so we can serve our customers more efficiently and effectively. They also look to the wellness program to increase awareness and self-efficacy to ultimately improve employee morale and job satisfaction.

Moda Health employees continue to have positive, health-conscious attitudes as a result of the Walk the Talk program. Since 2009, 96 percent of survey respondents have agreed (or strongly agreed) that a wellness program is worth their time and effort. Moda Health looks forward to continuing to improve the health of our greatest asset — our employees — in the future.

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Many of the Moda Health Charity Challenge resources can be found online at:

For more information about this program, contact


Vitality: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Vitality LogoRunning from a 16-year Habit

Vitality GroupIn the six years since he’d been in the U.S. Marine Corps, Brandon Bahlawan went off track and away from the physical fitness routine he’d known as a Marine. While he made some sporadic attempts to get back into healthy routines, they were short lived, usually lasting only a matter of months. Particularly when he was working toward an MBA degree, he made poor health decisions, did not exercise, gained weight and smoked.

When Aggreko, the company for which Brandon works as a damage claims administrator, offered the Vitality program, he didn’t immediately engage. One day, he decided that he could no longer make excuses – he had smoked enough. He would use Vitality’s online smoking cessation tools in an attempt to break his smoking habit.

Brandon participated in the smoking cessation course, conversation and calculator that lead Vitality members toward smoke-free lives. Initially, these educational tools gave Brandon the courage and motivation to take the first steps necessary to conquer smoking once and for all. In addition, he took advantage of the many interactive tools and action steps located in the virtual Vitality Library. “I can honestly say that the program offered on the Vitality website worked for me, and I know that this time it is for real.” Brandon has permanently quit smoking – for the first and last time in 16 years.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

Quitting smoking also inspired Brandon to work on other aspects of his physical health. As a Marine, he always enjoyed running, so he put his running shoes back on and took to the streets. In doing so, he regained his strength and endurance, and within three months time, lost 20 pounds.

Having often dreamed of running a marathon, he decided to begin training for one. He has established a routine and remains focused on achieving his goal of completing two half marathons. Brandon believes that he will have the motivation necessary to cross the finish line of a full marathon next year.

Brandon advises his colleagues: “Set challenging but achievable goals and work toward them. Try to avoid expecting ‘instant gratification’ when working toward your goals. Let the Vitality Points you earn through the program be your ‘instant gratification.’ Keep in mind that consistency and dedication are key to achieving your goals. When you accomplish a goal, reward yourself! Then set a new goal!”

Pro-Change Behavior Systems: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_fPro-Change LifeStyle Management Suite

The Pro-Change LifeStyle Management Suite is an evidence-based behavior change solution designed to improve employee well-being, reduce health care costs, and improve productivity in an easy and cost effective way. Built from over 35 years of scientific research and $10 million in grant funding from NIH, the programs meet the needs of entire populations, not just the 20% ready to take action.

Based on the Transtheoretical Model, the LifeStyle Management Suite’s entry point is the Pro-Change HRI, a Health Risk Assessment + Intervention. Unlike other HRAs, it uses validated questions to assess readiness to change leading health risks and provides immediate evidence-based, stage-matched feedback about the most important strategy individuals can use to make progress on each specific behavior. Every time the HRI is taken, feedback is updated to reflect change since the last one.

Pro-Change Image

Results from the HRI are used to dynamically populate a home page and recommend relevant fully tailored LifeStyle Management programs. These programs address the major issues currently driving preventable health care costs: smoking, stress, depression, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating, and non-adherence to prescribed anti-hypertensive and/or cholesterol lowering medication. Each time users return to the program, they receive tailored feedback on how they are doing, what change strategies they are using well, which they are underutilizing, and what steps they can take to continue progressing.

Each LifeStyle program is complemented by an engaging interactive Personal Activity Center (PAC) easily accessed from the users homepage. The PACs are filled with activities that promote the use of recommended behavior change strategies.

The suite includes a Clinical Dashboard that provides health coaches or health care providers with an overview of each participant’s progress, along with targeted behavior change messages to motivate and guide participants toward healthier lifestyles. Specific LifeStyle programs can be prescribed directly from the dashboard, which is automatically updated as participants engage with the program(s).  Robust reporting features enable tracking of each populations’ program usage, progress and outcomes.

The LifeStyle Management Suite is supported by rigorous research including randomized clinical trials and case studies which have been published in over a dozen peer reviewed journals. Results include: over 65% of participants starting to effectively manage stress, 30% of participants losing 5% or more of body weight, 73% of participants experiencing a reduction in depression symptoms, and 45% of individuals meeting national guidelines for regular exercise. A full description of program outcomes can be found at

INTERVENT: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

INTERVENT-CompassLifestyle Management Programs for Compass Group

Compass Group is a large food service management and support services company. INTERVENT International (INTERVENT;, a global population health management company, provides Health Risk Assessment (HRA) and lifestyle management programs for Compass Group’s U.S.-based business sectors. 

Since 2010, Compass Group associates enrolled in a medical plan have received a weekly wellness credit toward their health plan premiums for completing the HRA. Beginning in 2013, associates receive an additional weekly wellness credit if their spouses/domestic partners who are on the medical plan also complete the HRA.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

Participation in and completion of INTERVENT’s programs have continued to increase over time. Between November, 2012 and June 2013, over 26,000 individuals completed the HRA and over 5,000 individuals enrolled in INTERVENT’s lifestyle management programs. INTERVENT has been especially successful in engaging Spanish-speaking participants.

The aim of Compass Group’s wellness program is to improve health, productivity and quality of life. Positive changes in multiple health risk factors have produced impressive health care-related savings and positive ROIs. Additionally, results of participant satisfaction surveys have been very positive. On average, participants rated the INTERVENT program as “excellent” and indicated they would recommend the INTERVENT program to others.

Compass Group received a Gold Award for 2013 from the National Business Group on Health for its health and wellness programs. This marks Compass Group’s fourth consecutive year as an award recipient.

INTERVENT supplements the incentives provided by Compass Group by holding frequent raffles. A recent winner made this comment: “It’s great that Compass makes this program (lifestyle health coaching) available to us free. I enrolled because I knew I needed to get my health back on track. My coach is great. She considers my preferences and motivates me to stay focused on my health goals. The INTERVENT reports tell me where I need to be in terms of my risk factors. I couldn’t do this on my own and my doctor doesn’t have time to help me (with my lifestyle) in the same way that my coach does.”

INTERVENT’s services for Compass Group participants were recently enhanced through a collaborative initiative with the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart@Work program ( “We are excited about the new CardioSmart initiative with INTERVENT because it provides added assistance in achieving an important goal — helping our associates and their families to get healthy and stay healthy,” said Robert Kovacs, VP Total Rewards for Compass Group.

Weight Talk® from Alere: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

PrintWeight Talk® Successfully Engaging Alere Employees

At Alere, wellness is our business. We practice what we preach. This is why we offer wellness services to our own employees and their eligible dependents free of charge.  One of our newest programs, our Weight Talk® weight reduction program, was rolled out to employees in October 2012 with terrific results.

Within the first month, 194 employees enrolled, and more continue to roll in. Since launch, our employee participants have engaged in 286 phone call interactions with the program’s health coaches and 3,424 web logins, and they have completed 302 online activities. A survey revealed a participant satisfaction rate of 97.6, and best of all, 75% of participants have lost weight! We look forward to seeing that number continue to grow.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

How Weight Talk® Works

The program offers participants a new way to approach weight loss by learning the 10 essential practices of:

  • Mastering the art of eating well
  • Sitting less and moving more
  • Managing stress
  • Defeating negative thoughts
  • Gaining control of one’s environment
  • Managing time
  • Navigating difficult situations
  • Keeping weight off
  • Rebounding from lapses
  • Maintaining motivation

Along with learning the essential practices of weight loss, each participant is supported by their own dedicated weight loss coach, an online community, and tools such as a wireless activity monitor to keep them on track with their daily goals.

Employees are Enthusiastic

Testimonials from our employees are very positive. Here are two examples:

  • “Right now, I am 11 pounds lighter and just about to my ideal body weight. I can’t say enough good things about the program and the coaches. It is a very solid program. I am a “professional dieter” and knew a lot, but learned even more. The support offered through the program was just what I needed to be successful with weight loss. I hope a lot of people take advantage of this program.”
  • “The weight talk program was great!  I enjoyed having the same coach for the majority of the sessions.  It gave consistency and she knew what to focus on and target to assist me with my goals.  In fact, my objective was just to get more motivated to do the activities I enjoy doing and minimize excuses to keep from doing them.  I believe I was so successful that even though I was looking to tone up my body, not really lose weight, I have lost weight, kept it off and continue to lose weight based on the tactics and techniques my coach offered.”

Social Media Channels

Twitter: @alerehealth


U.S. Preventive Medicine: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

The Prevention Plan from U.S. Preventive Medicine

U.S. Preventive Medicine, Inc. Prevention Plan LogoU.S. Preventive Medicine, Inc. (USPM) has created an innovative information technology solution for a personalized prevention program. USPM’s The Prevention Plan is based on the clinical practice of preventive medicine with engagement in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.  Users complete a health risk appraisal, receive virtual coaching, live coaching and social challenges to reduce their risks, participating at self-determined levels of engagement.           NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

The two-year study, “The Association of Technology in a Workplace Wellness Program with Health Risk Factor Reduction,” recently published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (March 2013), concludes that active Prevention Plan participants show significant improvements in health risk reduction. The study proves the relationship between level of engagement in workplace wellness programs and health risk reduction. Engaging technology and interactive Web-based tools can empower individuals to be more proactive about their health and reduce their health risks.

From 15 employer groups, 7,804 employees completed health risk appraisal and laboratory testing at baseline and again after two years of participating in their personalized version of the USPM Prevention Plan. Of those participants who started in a high-risk category at baseline, 46% moved down to medium risk and 19% moved down to low risk after 2 years on The Prevention Plan. In the group that only engaged through the Web-based Prevention Plan technology, 22% of those individuals significantly reduced their health risks.

Dr. Ronald Loeppke, M.D., M.P.H., USPM president and vice chairman and lead author of the study, noted that The Prevention Plan tool used to initiate awareness of health, raise consciousness and determine health risk status is the health risk appraisal. The Prevention Plan’s interactive technology also displays an individual’s Prevention Score and reveals risk reduction visibly to the participant, as actions are taken and lifestyle changes are made.

“The study yields more evidence for the business case for employers that prevention is an investment to be leveraged rather than a cost to be justified,” added Dr. Loeppke.

The study was authored by: Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH; Dee Edington, PhD; Joel Bender, MD, PhD; and Ashley Reynolds, MSN, RN. Review the full published research study: “The Association of Technology in a Workplace Wellness Program with Health Risk Factor Reduction”

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Twitter: @USPM

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