Viridian Health Management Awarded $8 Million CDC National Wellness Program

Program focuses on innovative new approaches to worksite wellness that help employers improve the health of employees and families while reducing health care costs

PHOENIX--()--Viridian Health Management announced today that it was awarded approximately $8 million by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a comprehensive national workplace health program to improve the health of American workers and their families while reducing healthcare costs. A key component of the program focuses on innovative new ways to get people to exercise and improve their nutrition while targeting policies that reduce tobacco use.

“Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other long–term health problems increase health care costs and decrease productivity, eroding the bottom line of American businesses,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “This new initiative will help companies of all sizes implement strategies to improve employee health, which will help contain health costs for employers and make for a healthier, more productive American workforce.”

Viridian was selected for this award through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) because of their proven ability to establish innovative wellness programs that enhance employee health, reduce chronic disease and reduce healthcare costs. “Viridian has a successful track record of delivering nationwide workplace health programs that result in sustainable behavior change and lower health care costs,” says Brenda Schmidt, President. “This program provides us with the opportunity to work with the CDC to create the standard for how employers can implement sustainable workplace programs and how they can evaluate its quality and effectiveness.”

According to Linda Vaughan, PhD, RD, Director of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University, “Brenda Schmidt has a proven track record of leadership and success using health coaching to improve the health and well being of employees and clients across the U.S. She recently expanded her efforts to educate the next generation of health coaches by developing the curriculum for a new “skills and knowledge course” within the Arizona State University Healthy Lifestyles Coaching curriculum. Schmidt’s course was developed to teach students how to implement evidence-based health coaching methods to support sustainable behavior change in their clients.”

Viridian is also committed to building community linkages and partnerships to enhance program activities and the knowledge transfer necessary to build a foundation for sustainability of the program once the project is completed. “This program will establish the framework for employers of all sizes to implement sustainable programs by partnering with community and public health resources,” says Schmidt.

Viridian will work with subcontracting organizations including Ovation Benefits, The Center for the Promotion of Health in New England Workplace (CPH-NEW), and the Health Promotion Institute to leverage their combined capabilities and expertise throughout the project.

Ovation Benefits is an independent workforce health improvement and benefit consulting firm with offices in Hartford and Atlanta. The Ovation team believes the key to reducing the burden of healthcare costs for employers is to reduce the incidence of chronic disease in the workforce. Ovation has successfully introduced Workforce Health Improvement programs to employer groups across the country providing clients with a high touch implementation and roll-out process that allows them to effectively engage high risk employees in improving their health.

“The Viridian team has provided tremendous leadership in this effort and we are thrilled to have the chance to be part of the effort to bring a new vision for workforce health to employers throughout the nation,” says Bill Carew, Ovation Benefits CEO. “By integrating Viridian’s comprehensive, customized approach with our high-touch focus on individuals at high risk for preventable and reversible disease, together we are re-defining best practices for our industry.”

The Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW) is a Center for Excellence funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 2006. The Center’s goal is to evaluate the feasibility, effectiveness, and economic benefits of integrating occupational health and safety with health promotion interventions to improve employee health. The CPH-NEW program is oriented towards the inclusion of occupational health and work organization in workplace programs. This complements Viridian’s expertise in reducing the incidence of chronic disease through health coaching and creating a healthy worksite culture through environmental support and workplace policies.

The Health Promotion Institute (HPI) provides training and certification to employers and medical / allied health professionals in the areas of health promotion, motivational interviewing, health coaching, and tobacco cessation interventions. HPI will document all processes to establish a sustainable model for worksites to implement effective, outcomes-based workplace health programs.

Viridian Health Management and Ovation Benefits will be recruiting employers interested in participating in the 2 year project who meet the criteria for inclusion. Selection criteria will include a demonstrated leadership commitment to worksite wellness; a willingness to allow employees to participate in health programming during work hours; and employers who currently do not have a worksite wellness program in place. CDC funding will be offered to employers with fewer than 500 employees to participate in the program. Employers with more than 500 employees must be willing to invest $50,000 into the program. Employers interested in participating in the program will be able to start the application process beginning October 15th.

For more information about the new workplace health initiative, visit http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/nhwp/index.html.

ABOUT VIRIDIAN HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Viridian Health Management, formerly known as Diversity Wellness, was established in 2005 as a collaboration of health professionals and university researchers committed to reducing health disparities through culturally competent, language- specific corporate health promotion programs. Our evidence-based programs have been adapted from research-tested intervention programs developed by health education experts. Viridian’s health improvement programs creatively maximize employee engagement and drive sustainable behavior change, resulting in measurable risk reduction and health care cost savings. Health care cost management is a key objective of the Viridian wellness model. For further information, please visit www.viridianhealth.com.

ABOUT OVATION BENEFITS

Ovation Benefits, established in 2002, is a national leader in Workforce Health Improvement and one of the largest independent benefit brokers in the nation, representing more than 250 employers and more than 100,000 individuals in 43 states. Ovation's clients include small business, middle market and Fortune 1000 employer groups and more than 40 cities, towns and boards of education. For further information, please visit www.ovationbenefits.com.

ABOUT CPH-NEW

The Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW) is a Center for Excellence funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 2006. It is a collaborative research-to-practice initiative led by investigators from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the University of Connecticut. The Center’s research goal is to evaluate the feasibility, effectiveness, and economic benefits of integrating occupational health and safety with health promotion interventions to improve employee health. Visit www.uml.edu/centers/cph-new/

ABOUT THE HEALTH PROMOTION INSTITUTE

The Health Promotion Institute (HPI) works with organizations and universities nationally to develop and provide health promotion and health coaching training and certification based on evidence-based practices. HPI provides training and certification to employers and medical / allied health professionals in the areas of worksite health promotion best practices, motivational interviewing, health coaching, and tobacco cessation. Visit www.healthpromotioninstitute.net

Contacts

Viridian Health Management
Brenda Schmidt, President
602-443-5264
bschmidt@viridianhealth.com
or
Ovation Benefits
Allison Lantieri, Marketing Director
860-409-7205
allison.lantieri@ovationbenefits.com

Release Summary

Viridian Health Management has been awarded $8 million dollars by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish innovative worksite wellness programs.

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Contacts

Viridian Health Management
Brenda Schmidt, President
602-443-5264
bschmidt@viridianhealth.com
or
Ovation Benefits
Allison Lantieri, Marketing Director
860-409-7205
allison.lantieri@ovationbenefits.com