You are here

CEOs lead cancer fighting effort Lilly becomes the 100th employer accredited through the CEO Cancer Gold Standard

October 19, 2011

Eli Lilly and Co. became the 100th employer to receive CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation, recognizing the company’s commitment to reducing cancer risk by promoting healthy lifestyle choices, encouraging early detection through cancer screenings, and ensuring access to quality treatment for their own employees and their covered family members.

Lilly’s Gold Standard accreditation represents a milestone for the company whose culture is built on helping and improving the lives of others, beginning with its own employees. As the 100th Gold Standard organization, the accreditation represents a milestone as well for the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a nonprofit organization of cancer-fighting CEOs founded by former President George H. W. Bush.

“Organizations such as Eli Lilly truly represent a gold standard of leadership and demonstrate how employers can play an active and meaningful role in reducing cancer risk and improving the overall health of their employees and family members,” said President Bush. "I truly believe addressing health issues in the workplace is one of the smartest things we can to reduce the risk of cancer and other serious diseases."

The CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ was created by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, many of its designated cancer centers, and leading health non-profit organizations and professionals. Today, more than two and a half million employees and family members are benefiting from the vision and leadership of employers like Lilly.

“Employers can have a tremendous impact on the health of their employees and family members,” said Christopher A. Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi, who chairs the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. “Gold Standard accreditation is further testament that Lilly’s efforts to improve health begin with improving the health of their own employees.”

The CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ calls for companies to evaluate their health benefits and corporate culture and take extensive, concrete actions in five key areas of health and wellness to fight cancer in the workplace. Through the support provided by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, there is no cost for companies large or small, for-profit or not-for profit to apply for CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation. To earn accreditation, a company must establish programs to reduce cancer risk by discouraging tobacco use; encouraging physical activity; promoting healthy diet and nutrition; detecting cancer at its earliest stages; and providing access to quality care, including participation in clinical trials.

From its beginnings in 2006 the Gold Standard was quickly embraced by CEOs whose corporations play a lead role in patient care, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis, who were among the first organizations to become accredited.

Leading hospitals, government agencies and health advocacy groups followed suit. Today, in addition to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), twenty hospitals, including ten NCI-designated cancer centers, have earned Gold Standard accreditation. The community of Gold Standard organizations includes the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Livestrong and C-Change, an organization also founded by President Bush which brings together the government, non-profit and private sectors to collaborate against cancer and from which the CEO Roundtable on Cancer was derived. All of these cancer advocacy non-profits have also encouraged other employers to become accredited, as well.

Today, CEOs from across industries are keenly aware of the tremendous impact they can have in improving health, controlling health care costs and making a difference beyond their organization’s walls in the fight against cancer and other chronic diseases. Today, the more than 100 Gold Standard employers includes insurers like Aetna, Cigna and State Farm; law firms, such as Hogan Lovells and Jenner + Block; technology companies such as Dell and SAS Institute; and a range of leading employers including American Century Investments, Lowe’s and the University of North Dakota