BOCA RATON, Fla., March 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The GEO Group, Inc., the world's leading provider of correctional detention and community reentry services, has been named a gold award winner in the third annual Healthyroads Fit Company Awards® program. The Healthyroads Fit Company Awards® program recognizes organizations nationwide who are leaders in the areas of employee wellness and preventive health care and who demonstrate their commitment to wellness by offering exceptional employee wellness benefits and services.
The GEO Group's "GEOfit-for-life" employee wellness program promotes a culture of health that starts at the top of the company with Chairman, CEO and Founder, Dr. George Zoley, and permeates every level of the organization. Stephen Fuller, senior vice president, Human Resources, and other executives literally "walk the talk," wearing their ActiPed step monitors on their shoes to track their daily steps. Employees are encouraged to track their steps and increase them through company contests and challenges, such as the "Where's Your ActiPed?" photo contest. Employees who submitted the most interesting photos of themselves wearing their ActiPeds in unique or fun settings were awarded iPads or $25 gift cards. GEO leaders around the country set up local step competitions to encourage employees to walk more. Employees at Corporate Headquarters can earn their steps at the on-site gym, on outdoor walking paths or just taking the stairs at work, which have been rubberized to simulate a gym floor. Employees nationwide who prefer to work out away from work are provided discounts for gym memberships. GEO also promotes charity runs and walks that support their motto "GEOfit, GEOstrong, GEOproud."
But the GEO wellness program isn't just about walking. The company holds annual employee health fairs at 60-75 facilities nationwide, conducting cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI, vision, skin and bone density screenings. They also hold lunch-and-learn presentations on topics such as prevention of heart attacks and strokes, and when to use the emergency room.
When it comes to nutrition, GEO offers healthy snacks and juices in their vending machines, offers healthy food options such as healthy teas, fruit and whole grain baked items during GEO celebrations, and includes low fat and low calorie menu items at the corporate office café. Wellness program activity reports are circulated bi-weekly to executives, facility managers and wellness champions to keep everyone involved and to monitor results.
The GEO Group's wellness program was first implemented in 2009, and last year achieved a participation rate of more than 96 percent of the Company's medical plan participants completing the Personal Health Assessment.
"We're proud that last year we had 8,329 employees complete our Personal Health Assessment, with over 1,000 employees purchasing an ActiPed step monitor and walking more than 290.5 million steps (over 145,291 miles or roughly 6 times around the earth!)," said Fuller. "Our program is creative and fun, and further enhances our team spirit at GEO. We're very pleased with the results and our employees are, too. GEO committed $100,000 in incentives during its most recent weight loss program. The Company had 312 prize winners, with the top winner ultimately losing 120 pounds. The winner received $2,500 and two round trip tickets to anywhere in the U.S."
The GEO Group's wellness program is offered through Healthyroads®, one of the nation's leading providers of employer population health programs.
"We congratulate the leadership and employees of The GEO Group for setting a positive example worldwide that inspires others to reduce the health risk factors that contribute to rising healthcare costs," said American Specialty Health CEO and Chairman George DeVries. "Today's comprehensive wellness programs offer everything from personal health coaching to exercise programs to incentive programs. They provide a solid business strategy that can deliver multiple benefits, including the potential to reduce sick days, decrease medical utilization and increase productivity."
According to a recent study conducted by Truven Health Analytics and Emory University, and supported by Healthyroads, modifiable health risk factors contribute, on average, $887 per employee per year to an employer's health care costs. The top ten risk factors that predict employee health costs include obesity, physical inactivity, depression, tobacco use, high blood glucose, high blood pressure, high stress, high total cholesterol, high alcohol use and nutrition.
The Healthyroads Fit Company Award winners were selected based on their commitment to best practices in worksite wellness, unique or creative ideas that encourage a culture of health at the workplace, clarity and consistency of employee health promotion and communications, and participation and engagement levels of their employees in wellness initiatives.
Judges for the Healthyroads Fit Company Awards program included:
- Dr. Andrew Crighton, chief medical officer, Prudential Financial;
- Dr. Raymond Fabius, chief medical officer, TRUVEN Health Analytics;
- Dr. Leba Shallenberger, manager, health education and promotion, ExxonMobil;
- Dr. Cathy Baase, global director of health, Dow Chemical;
- Dr. Douglas Metz, chief health services officer and executive vice president, American Specialty Health; and
- Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona and UCSF Schools of Medicine and vice president of health affairs, American Specialty Health.
About The GEO Group, Inc.
The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE:GEO) is the first fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the design, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities around the globe. GEO is the world's leading provider of diversified correctional, detention, and community reentry services to government agencies worldwide with operations in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. GEO's worldwide operations include the ownership and/or management of 100 facilities totaling 72,000 beds with a growing workforce of approximately 18,000 professionals. In addition to winning the Fit Company Award, GEO Group has also been recognized with the American Heart Association's Platinum and Gold Awards for ongoing efforts in heart-healthy activities. GEO was also recognized by the South Florida Business Journal, placing third in the Healthiest Employer in South Florida competition.
The GEO Group, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17778
About American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH)
American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH) is a national health services organization that provides fitness, exercise and healthy aging programs, population health solutions and specialty health care programs for health plans, Medicare Advantage Plans and/or employer groups. Headquartered in San Diego, with offices in Dallas, Indianapolis and Columbia, S.C., ASH has more than 1,000 employees and administers services for more than 32 million members nationwide. Products offered through ASH and its subsidiaries include Healthyroads®, Silver&Fit®, Active&Fit®, ExerciseRewardsTM and others. For more information about ASH, visit www.ASHCompanies.com, follow us on Twitter at @ASHCompanies, or call 800-848-3555. Follow Healthyroads on Twitter at @Healthyroads, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Healthyroads and YouTube at www.youtube.com/Healthyroads. Follow Silver&Fit on Twitter at @SilverandFit, Instagram at @SilverandFit, YouTube at www.youtube.com/silverandfit and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SilverandFit .
The American Specialty Health logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=14503
Source:American Specialty Health