Earvin “Magic” Johnson Encourages Aetna Employees To “Get Active”
Wellness event promotes healthy lifestyles
HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna (NYSE: AET) will welcome Earvin “Magic” Johnson, NBA Hall of Famer, and chairman and chief executive officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises, to its corporate headquarters on May 19 for a motivational rally to encourage Aetna employees to engage in improving their health and wellness through the company’s “Get Active Aetna” fitness and incentive program. The program will be streamed live to Aetna employees nationwide via the company’s intranet system.
“Magic Johnson has enormous appeal, which we’ve seen first-hand not only when he has spoken to Aetna’s business leaders, but also during many public events during the last 18 months when he has worked with Aetna to bring the message of health and wellness to communities across America,” said Ronald A. Williams, Aetna chairman and chief executive officer. “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to let Magic bring his enthusiasm for the topic to our own employees, to further inspire their commitment to their personal health.”
During his visit to Aetna’s Hartford headquarters, Johnson will meet with employees and tour the company’s Wellness Works onsite health and fitness center.
“We bring a strong message about the health benefits of exercise, good nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices to children and adults in urban communities across America,” Johnson said. “The Aetna team is highly energized around these issues and I look forward to talking about these topics with the employees tomorrow.”
So far, more than 15,000 employees have signed up to participate in the Get Active Aetna challenge, a fun, 16-week individual and team-oriented fitness action campaign that helps employees increase their physical activity. Part of Aetna’s overall commitment to wellness, this program provides incentives to employees to encourage adoption of positive health behaviors needed to reach and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Employees who sign up, and those who meet their goals, are eligible for a range of prizes.
New for 2009, those who complete the program can elect to donate the value of their completion prize to Aetna’s “3-Point PlaySM” program, a 20-week nutrition and exercise competition that was recently piloted in the Houston Independent School District. Over 900 fourth- and fifth-graders at five elementary schools participated and successfully completed the program. The 3-Point Play program has been made possible by close collaboration between Aetna, Magic Johnson Enterprises, Action For Healthy Kids and other local organizations. It was created to help combat childhood obesity, an issue Aetna is working to address through a number of initiatives. Aetna plans to expand this program to other communities in the near future, and employee completion prizes donated to the 3-Point Play program will be eligible for a 50-percent matching grant by the Aetna Foundation, up to a total of $25,000. For more information about the 3-Point Play program, go to www.communityvitality.com and click on the school.
Aetna and Magic Johnson Enterprises announced the “Team up for a Healthy Tomorrow” initiative in January 2008. The principal goals of the three-year collaboration are to create a dialogue and action in diverse urban and suburban communities to help people understand the health resources available to them, and encourage them to take a more active role in their health and wellness. In addition, the initiative seeks to give credible voice, via a recognized and respected leader, to major issues in health care such as the need to improve health literacy and racial and ethnic inequality in health care, thereby empowering people to ask questions, seek answers and create a demand for high quality health care that respects their cultural preferences.
In addition to the recently announced 3-Point Play program in Houston, Johnson has carried the message of health and wellness to people at Aetna-sponsored events in a number of cities, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and has participated in a major advertising campaign urging people to visit the partnership’s website at www.communityvitality.com, which offers real-world tips on topics ranging from healthy eating to how to ask the right questions at your next doctor’s visit.
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