The International Business Community Is a Key to Better Global Health

Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:50pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

* Search for healthiest workplaces is sponsored by the Cigna Foundation 
* J&J, Alexandra Health in Singapore are finalists among large employers 
* Toyal America, Technica International of Lebanon cited among smaller employers

* American Express, Royal Dutch Shell recognized for specialized programs 
* Award criteria based on WHO Healthy Workplace Model for Action 
* Summit hosted by Global Knowledge Exchange Network 
* UK`s Dame Carol Black announced as keynote speaker

LONDON & PHILADELPHIA--(Business Wire)--
Is the international business community a key to better global health? The
answer is yes, judging by the overwhelming response by companies vying for
recognition at the inaugural Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit to be
held in London April 10-12. The search for the healthiest workplaces in the
world is sponsored by the Cigna Foundation and hosted by the Global Knowledge
Exchange Network (GKEN) together with International Health Consulting and
i-genius, whose common goal is to promote awareness of emerging better practices
in health promotion and wellness in the workplace. 

Global corporate giants together with small and mid-sized companies from 28
countries submitted workplace programs for consideration among the world`s
healthiest workplaces. The submissions were reviewed by an international panel
of public health experts from five continents who judged the workplace programs
- for the first time - through the lens of the World Health Organization (WHO)
Healthy Workplace Model for Action. The WHO has identified the international
business community as a vital component of developing and maintaining healthy
communities around the world. Employers heeded the call and have developed
far-reaching programs to help their employees and the communities they serve
maintain good health. 

"All industrialized nations are faced with the same workplace health challenges:
escalating health care costs, aging populations, a dramatic rise in chronic
disease, public expectations and limited resources to meet those expectations,"
said David Guilmette, President of Cigna's Global Employer Segment. "Each
business - and each nation - is working to constructively tackle these
challenges, but imagine the power of collaborating to address these challenges
together. That`s the reason we`re all coming together in London for the Global
Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit." 

Dame Carol Black, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, and Expert Adviser on
Health and Work to the Department of Health, England, will serve as keynote
speaker for the Summit, joined by distinguished speakers including Evelyn
Kortum, Technical Officer of Occupational Health for the WHO. The Summit has
attracted more than 100 employers of all sizes, health system leaders,
universities, NGOs, world-renowned award judges and speakers - along with six
companies representing award finalists in three categories. Here are the

Large Enterprises

* Johnson & Johnson first set health goals 30 years ago and has continuously
improved its employee culture of health to reduce the risk of chronic disease,
promote well-being, and sustain employee good health through 12 programs
spanning becoming tobacco-free, HIV policy, employee assistance, physical
activity, stress management, cancer awareness, healthy eating, return-to-work,
travel health and more. J&J's average annual per employee savings was $565 in
2009, producing a return on investment equal to a range of $1.88-$3.92 saved for
every dollar spent on the program. 
* Alexandra Health Pte. Ltd of Singapore implemented a workplace health strategy
built on its "5 Pillars of Health" culture and designed to keep Singaporeans
healthy and out of the hospital.

Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises

* Technica International of Lebanon, a family business of 140 employees,
incorporated all of its health, safety and environment initiatives under its
Employee Satisfaction Program. Technica has shared its expertise with 32 other
companies in Lebanon. 
* Toyal America, a self-insured company, launched the "Changes that Last a
Lifetime" program in 2009 to improve employee health and reduce health care
costs. Toyal reversed a multi-year trend of increased health insurance premiums
and lowered its workers compensation experience through multiple safety

Specialized Programs

* American Express launched its Healthy Living program in 2009 in the United
States and now offers it to employees and dependents in 13 countries, with the
United States, India, UK, Mexico and Singapore being the mature markets. The
company offers global innovation grants, which includes, in the UK, installing
exercise bikes in a gym that generate electricity to power mobile phones. 
* Royal Dutch Shell in the Netherlands and UK created the Global Resilience
Program in 2011, which goes beyond existing stress management programs into
positive psychology and personal development. The in-house program is run by
1,132 trained facilitators and is being fully integrated into leadership
training and managers` annual goal setting with individual Shell employees.

The award finalists will present their programs amid a two-day Summit agenda
packed with information on emerging and better practices for promoting workplace
health, from addressing the aging employee population to protecting workers`
mental health and fighting chronic disease among the world`s workforce. The
award winners will be selected at the Summit and announced at the closing lunch
on April 12. 

"Together, we`re all searching for the healthiest workplaces in the world, and
this event is an important step in helping us learn what it takes to create a
healthy workplace and how other organizations can do the same," said Jon Comola,
executive director of GKEN. "Through sustained global communications to large,
medium and small businesses, we will enable organizations around the globe to
replicate these better workplace practices. The Summit and follow up
communication program will encourage employers to further invest in the health
of their employees and champion the mantra, `Good Health is Good Business!`"
Comola said. 

For more information, go to

About the Cigna Foundation

The Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna
Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports
organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and
families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those
communities where Cigna employees live and work. 

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to
helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All
products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of
Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna
Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and
Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an
integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health,
pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group
disability, life, and accident coverage. Cigna has sales capability in 30
countries and jurisdictions, with approximately 75 million customer
relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna, including links
to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

Cigna Corporation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758 (U.S.)

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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