WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Mar 3, 2016) - The National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of more than 425 large, U. S. employers, today honored six companies -- American Express, GlaxoSmithKline, Cigna, Paychex, Wegmans and Xerox -- for their ongoing commitment to promote health equity and reduce health care disparities in the workplace. The companies were recognized with "Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Awards." The awards were presented today at the National Business Group on Health's 2016 Business Health Agenda conference.

In presenting the awards, Brian Marcotte, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, commented: "We are pleased to recognize these six companies for their commitments to advance health equity and reduce health care disparities through workplace and community initiatives. Employers that address health care disparities and promote health equity can improve the health, clinical outcomes, productivity and quality of life of their employees and dependents."

The key components of the award-winning programs are:

  • Innovative approaches and solutions to address disparities, promote health equity and helping all employees achieve optimal health and well-being;
  • Analyses of disparities/health equity data to determine gaps in care;
  • The use of segmented and culturally and linguistically appropriate communications; and
  • Results the programming has on the employee population and/or community.

American Express

American Express has been a leader in using aggregate, trend data to understand and address health care gaps and disparities among its employee population. Through anonymous annual surveys, American Express learned that medical and pharmaceutical costs were twice as much for diabetics than for non-diabetics. In 2012, the company launched an educational program, Healthy Living with Diabetes, eventually rolling it out online, to all U.S. employees. In addition, the company partnered with its internal Employee Network groups to create tailored programs that engaged employees most at risk for diabetes. In November 2015, American Express launched a diabetes awareness campaign featuring a hip-hop legend and reality television star, who provided his personal story of how diabetes impacted his family. American Express' Healthy Living with Diabetes educational program, and its many initiatives tailored to the meet the needs of its diverse workforce, have demonstrated a reduction in risk factors and positive behavior change.


Cigna's commitment to cultivating health equity and improving access to high quality care focuses on multiple initiatives and programs. Its goal is to help every individual obtain the information needed to be and stay healthy, and ultimately enhance the quality of life at home, in the workplace and in the community. Cigna's expanded data analysis has enabled the company to identify disparities and deliver culturally tailored interventions in local markets. One initiative is a collaboration between the Cigna Foundation and the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity to conduct education and outreach in African-American barber and beauty shops to increase screening for colon cancer. Another effort addresses hypertension and obesity in some employee populations through a collaboration with employers that serve on Cigna's Health Disparities Advisory Council. Programs such as these are made possible by an impressive array of training and resources available to Cigna employees to support the company's ability to assess and respond to the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base.


GlaxoSmithKline is deeply committed to supporting the health and well-being of its employees and their families, as well as providing equitable access to care. GSK's energy is focused on three major areas: building healthy leadership practices, robust employee health delivery systems and programmes that foster a culture of energy and health. A key design principle for the company is equitable access to employee health care in the 100+ countries in which it operates. One example of this commitment is illustrated by their Partnership for Prevention (P4P) program, focused on addressing multiple barriers to better preventive health care such as awareness, cost, geography and culture. The P4P initiative provides every employee and benefits-eligible family member with free or low-cost access to 40 preventive healthcare services. These services include adult and child vaccines, prenatal care, HIV and cancer screening and smoking cessation treatment, each tailored at a country level. Results show that almost one-third of employees and family members have used P4P services and have an 82% satisfaction rate. This is a major investment which reinforces GSK's ongoing efforts to maintain a highly motivated, engaged and resilient workforce.

Rochester High Blood Pressure Collaborative: Paychex, Wegmans, Xerox

Paychex, Wegmans and Xerox are founding members of a unique collaborative initiative in the Rochester community to reduce the cost and prevalence of preventable disease and address disparities. Of particular importance was the need to address hypertension within the community and in particular with the African-American and Latino populations. The collaborative involves more than 70 stakeholder organizations that focus on metrics and measurement; blood pressure advocate program; community engagement and worksite wellness. The collaborative coordinates blood pressure screenings, and educational events in communities of lower socioeconomic status at churches, community centers, adult education centers, barber shops and beauty salons. In addition, the Collaborative has worked closely with physician practices embedding patient advocates and making available practice improvement consultants. Overall blood pressure control rates have improved by 7 percentage points in less than 4 years, with improvements seen in all racial/ethnicity and socioeconomic groups.

"Health equity exists when all people, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, geographic location, or other societal constructs have the same access, opportunity, and resources to achieve their highest potential for health. We hope these companies provide an example and encourage other employers to follow their lead in advancing health equity," said Marcotte.

About the National Business Group on Health®
The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues and helping companies optimize business performance through health improvement, innovation and health care management. The Business Group leads initiatives to address the most relevant health care issues facing employers today and enables human resource and benefit leaders to learn, share and leverage best practices from the most progressive companies. Business Group members, which include 71 Fortune 100 companies, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

Contact Information:

Ed Emerman