; For Fifth Straight Year, Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania Earns Top Employee Wellness Award American Heart Association Awards Start! Fit Friendly Company Platinum Designation
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Press Release

For Fifth Straight Year, Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania Earns Top Employee Wellness Award American Heart Association Awards Start! Fit Friendly Company Platinum Designation

April 18, 2013

WILKES-BARRE – For the fifth consecutive year, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) has been awarded the American Heart Association's (AHA) top honor for employers, the Start! Fit Friendly Company Platinum Award.

Out of 2,245 applications received by the AHA from companies across the nation seeking Gold or Platinum status, BCNEPA was one of only 12 Platinum honorees selected in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the only Platinum Award recipient in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The AHA's Fit Friendly program is designed to address the growing concern of physical inactivity and its health consequences.  To advance this objective, the Fit Friendly program recognizes companies that are championing the health of their employees by creating a culture of "workplace wellness."

This year's Platinum designation recognizes BCNEPA for its support of employees' wellness through the encouragement of physical activity, promotion of healthy eating options, and availability of constant education and incentives around healthy lifestyle choices.  BCNEPA's Blue Health Solutions wellness program was also cited as a key factor in the award decision.

"We initiated our wellness programs for the benefit of our employees, because they are the heart of our organization," said Dr. Nina Taggart, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer. "We are proud to receive this award for the fifth time, which speaks to us walking the walk when it comes to wellness and to the commitment of the company's leadership when it comes to the health of our employees."

The fifth consecutive Start! Fit Friendly Company Platinum Award for BCNEPA comes on the heels of recent recognition by the Disease Management Purchasing Consortium (DMPC) for the success of BCNEPA's Blue Health Solutions program in helping members manage chronic illnesses.

"The results Blue Health Solutions is achieving show that there is real value in disease management programs for our members, and in the wellness program we offer our own employees," said Dr. Taggart.  "The data from members and employees who are engaged in a wellness or disease management program also indicate lower health care costs, which benefit everyone."

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 more than 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.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.