Setting a Healthy Example for All
WellPoint, Inc. is America's leading health-benefits company, and its stated mission is to simplify the connection between health, care, and value. The company has 34 million members in its affiliated health plans; plus, it serves more than 70 million individuals through WellPoint subsidiaries. As such, the organization boasts the largest medical membership of any health-benefits company in the USA.
Five years ago, WellPoint launched a unique program called the "Building Healthy Lifestyles" initiative, which works to improve the lives and health of everyone the company reaches. As part of that ongoing effort, WellPoint also helps its own employees improve their health outcomes. Not only does that reduce internal costs for the organization, but it also ensures a happier, more productive, and more successful workforce.
"WellPoint is committed to offering a wide range of wellness programs that make it easier for our associates and their families to make healthy choices," explains Randy Brown, EVP and Chief HR Officer for WellPoint. "We want to reward our associates and their families when they show a commitment to their own health. Our incentives and internal messages focus on building a culture of physical and emotional health and encourage personal accountability."
WellPoint provides a wide range of wellness programs, for example, that make it easier for its employees and their family members to live healthier and more fruitful lives — with lower medical costs. Those programs include annual health screenings, onsite flu shots, healthcare support for nursing mothers, and wellness centers that are staffed by members of the National Institute for Fitness and Sport. WellPoint associates can also take advantage of online health assessments and wellness-coaching programs, monthly wellness teleseminars, and an effective tobacco-usage-cessation program.
Meanwhile, WellPoint extends its initiatives far beyond the workplace. The company sponsors many community events and health fairs, for instance, which take place in every state that WellPoint serves throughout the USA. These primarily focus on physical activity, for both kids and adults, and include the Get Active, Get Fit School Challenge; Heart Walks to benefit the American Heart Association, and National Walk at Lunch Day.
Senior leaders at WellPoint fully support the mission and provide robust program funding because wellness is considered a key component of the organization's overall strategy. Each year, health improvement is a key priority of Human Resources, for example, and the Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Medical Officer send all associates communications related to health and wellness. The CEO and executive leadership team members also attend WellPoint wellness events, participating alongside other employees.
By following the ancient adage of "physician, heal thyself," WellPoint exemplifies the notion that "to lead" means to set a good example and be a stellar role model for those whose lives you impact. "
Our focus is on integrating a healthy lifestyle throughout our organization," explains Brown. "We recognize that, if we want to change the health behaviors of the people we serve, we have to start with ourselves."
CareerFOCUS Magazine™ and the National Eagle Leadership Institute® salute Wellpoint — winner of the 2012 NELI Award honoring stellar leadership in corporate and social responsibility.
Interim Chief Executive Officer & President
John Cannon III