Wellness Works At SunGard
Employees at SunGard are lining up for voluntary individual health screenings at a series of wellness fairs. The health screenings are part of SunGard’s Wellness Works initiative, aimed at helping SunGard employees lead and maintain healthy lifestyles. The program encourages employees to raise their health awareness by offering tools and resources that will help them to initiate and sustain behaviors that produce more positive health benefits. SunGard (http://www.sungard.com), one of the world’s leading software and IT services companies, employs more than 16,000 employees worldwide, 2,500 of whom work in the Greater Philadelphia region.
A key component of SunGard’s Wellness Works initiative is prevention. Preventive health care is a crucial step toward stopping health problems before they start. To encourage preventive health care, most of SunGard’s healthcare benefits cover routine, preventive services at 100%.
According to a survey conducted by Mercer, a leading provider of human resources outsourcing and consulting services, larger employers expect their healthcare costs to increase by approximately 9% in 2008 prior to plan design changes, so preventive care is not only a good idea for employees’ health but also for their wallets.
SunGard’s first step in promoting the Wellness Works initiative has been through its wellness fairs. During the month of October, SunGard held more than 30 wellness fairs in its largest U.S. offices. The wellness fairs provided employees the opportunity to receive a variety of free health screenings and the option to discuss the results of those screenings with a clinical healthcare professional. The services offered at the wellness fairs included: preventive screenings for cholesterol and diabetes, body mass index, blood pressure, flu shots, massage therapy, dietary advice from a registered dietician and information from vendors who offer services including weight loss programs, healthcare and health club memberships.
After voluntarily attending a wellness fair, employees are encouraged to identify any additional health issues by taking an online health risk assessment (HRA). The HRA asks employees to provide information about their health and family history and then provides personalized feedback to help put them on the path toward a healthier lifestyle. The assessment is completely confidential and takes just minutes to complete online but the feedback can last a lifetime.
Kathleen Asser-Weslock, SunGard’s chief human resources officer, said, “SunGard initiated Wellness Works because the company believes it is important to take a proactive approach to encouraging its employees to live a healthier lifestyle. Healthy employees tend to be more productive and experience a better quality of life both at home and at work. In addition, people who discover health problems early on tend to get well faster and spend less on medical care. Wellness Works shows SunGard’s commitment to providing a positive work environment for its employees.”
SunGard’s Wellness Works initiative is currently being rolled out to approximately 11,000 employees in its U.S. offices with plans to expand to Europe in early 2008. To date, participation rates have exceeded 30%. Future wellness-based initiatives include creating programs targeted to address specific behaviors and diseases, developing wellness coaches and creating a wellness benefits newsletter.
Cristóbal Conde, president and chief executive officer of SunGard said, “We believe wellness programs such as Wellness Works are beneficial for our employees and for our company by reducing healthcare costs and increasing employee productivity.”
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