Fifteen Maryland businesses May 19 signed a letter of intent to participate in the state’s new Healthiest Maryland initiative. GBC president and CEO Donald C. Fry and GBC-member businesses joined Lt. Governor Anthony Brown in launching the new initiative aimed at enlisting employers and their employees in an organized workplace effort to promote healthy lifestyles.
Immediately prior to a morning press conference, Brown led business leaders on a “health walk” from the Center Club to the Inner Harbor, promoting one of several activities businesses can encourage to improve employees’ health.
By signing the letter of intent, employers, including GBC members CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, University of Maryland Medical System, PNC Bank and Johns Hopkins University, as well as the State of Maryland, publicly declared their commitment to implement policies and practices around prevention and wellness.
Participating employers commit to increasing access to preventative services, expanding healthy food and beverage choices, and promoting other workplace wellness programs.
Studies show that for every dollar an employer invests in the health of its employees, a return of $3 to $6 can be expected. These savings are the result of reduced health care costs, reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. Specifically, worksite health promotion programs have cut sick leave absenteeism by 27 percent and lowered costs associated with worker’s compensation and disability management claims by 32 percent.
“As the region’s largest health insurer, CareFirst understands the importance of employee wellness programs that support positive lifestyle changes,” said Chet Burrell, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and a GBC board member. “We live what we preach by providing CareFirst employees with a wide range of wellness activities. We look forward to participating in the Healthiest Maryland Campaign and working with the State of Maryland, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Greater Baltimore Committee in encouraging businesses to develop programs that promote wellness and encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors.”
“The Healthiest Maryland businesses project is important not only for promoting wellness among Maryland’s more than 3 million workers, but it also will result in a robust and healthy workforce, positively impacting our economy and healthcare costs,” said Dr. E. Albert Reece, acting president, University of Maryland, Baltimore and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Complete a health management assessment for your business and get more information on the Healthiest Maryland.