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American Specialty Health CEO and Chairman George DeVries Honored With 'Lifetime Achievement Award' in Wellness by the San Diego Business Journal

American Specialty Health 25 Years Logo

SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a ceremony honoring some of the most innovative and most health-oriented companies in San Diego, George DeVries, co-founder, chairman and CEO of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH), was presented the distinguished "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his career-long dedication to his company's focus on health and wellness.

DeVries co-founded his company 25 years ago from the second bedroom of his condominium, overcoming financial, regulatory and industry challenges to pioneer innovative specialty health, wellness, coaching and fitness programs, and growing his small business into a $221 million company. Today, ASH is one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in San Diego and has been recognized among the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing privately held companies nationally for the last four years in a row.

"I am humbled to be named a lifetime achievement award winner in wellness, and appreciate this extraordinary recognition by the San Diego Business Journal," said DeVries. "It is satisfying to build a business that is making a positive impact in health care, and it's encouraging to be recognized for those efforts. I want to thank those who took the time to examine our history, growth, innovations and achievements, and who recognized the positive mark we've made on the health and wellness landscape."

"We are pleased to present our 2013 Healthiest Companies Lifetime Achievement Award to George DeVries," said Armon Mills, president and publisher, San Diego Business Journal. "As the innovative founder of American Specialty Health Incorporated, he has pioneered modern health management, introducing new broad-based systems that encompass alternative medical practices, fitness programs and healthy lifestyle maintenance. He has helped redefine our perspective on sustaining a healthy workforce and a productive, profitable work environment."

ASH was originally founded as a network management company for chiropractic in 1987. Within its first decade, ASH had developed a licensed specialty health plan and also became nationally accredited. Over the last 25 years, ASH has created a national organization contracting with more than 45,000 providers and facilities, and currently serves over 25 million Americans through contracts with many of the nation's finest health plans. ASH's many entrepreneurial achievements include recognition as:

  • the first specialty health plan for chiropractic
  • the first specialty health plan for acupuncture
  • the first national insurer for complementary and alternative health care
  • the first company to receive national accreditations as a specialty complementary/alternative health insurer, network, and/or health plan organization.

In 2002, DeVries began developing new programs and capabilities, launching Healthyroads. Healthyroads was founded to provide personal health improvement and telephone-based lifestyle coaching as an employee benefit. Over the last decade, DeVries transformed Healthyroads into one of the nation's leading health and wellness organizations. Today, Healthyroads offers a broad, fully integrated Total Population Health Solution that supports and empowers individuals to make positive changes in their own personal health through a wellness portal, lifestyle and condition coaching, incentive administration, worksite wellness programs and other related programs for more than 5.7 million members nationally.

In 2007, ASH launched a broad fitness program that could be offered by health plans to their members. Today, more than 50 health plans offer ASH's fitness programs for over 1.7 million members. ASH's fitness programs include: Silver&Fit®, a fitness and healthy aging program for seniors; Active&Fit®, a fitness program for commercial members; and ExerciseRewards™, an exercise incentive program.

In total, ASH currently covers 32 million members, touching the lives of one in every 10 Americans.

Other key honors bestowed on DeVries through the years include:

  • America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Innovators Award, 2004
  • Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Health Sciences, 2000
  • Appointment to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, 2000
  • San Diego Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Health Sciences, 1997
  • 21st Century National Leadership Award from Impact Urban America.

ASH has been recognized as:

  • A 100 "Best Places to Work in Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare magazine
  • One of the 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-Held Companies by Inc. magazine (four years in a row)
  • One of America's 15 Fittest Companies by Men's Fitness magazine
  • One of San Diego's Best Places to Work by San Diego Business Journal and San Diego Magazine
  • A four-time winner of National Business Group on Health Gold "Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles" award, and
  • A California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness Fit Company.

About American Specialty Health

American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH) is a national health services organization that provides fitness and exercise programs, population health solutions and specialty health care programs for health plans, insurance carriers, employer groups and trust funds. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with offices in Dallas, TX, Indianapolis, IN and Columbia, SC, ASH has more than 1,000 employees and administers services for more than 32 million members nationwide. Additional products offered through ASH and its subsidiaries include Healthyroads®, Silver&Fit ® , FitnessCoach™, Active&Fit ® , ExerciseRewards TM and others. For more information about ASH, visit www.ASHCompanies.com or call 800-848-3555. Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter at @ASHCompanies .

CONTACT: American Specialty Health Lisa Freeman 800.848.3555, ext. 3722 Direct: 310-390-3070 lisaf@ashn.com

Source:American Specialty Health