CARY, NC (August 28, 2013) – Highmark Health Services, the nation’s fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated health insurer, has earned CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM accreditation from the CEO Roundtable on Cancer . The organization recognized Highmark Health Services for its efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for its employees and covered family members by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and encouraging early detection through cancer screenings.
“This is a tremendous honor that I am proud to accept on behalf of Highmark Health Services,” said William Winkenwerder, Jr., MD, the president and CEO of Highmark. The CEO Roundtable on Cancer also named Winkenwerder, a longtime honorary member, as the organization’s newest member.
“The Gold Standard aligns closely with many of our goals at Highmark Health Services, where we take very seriously our role in striving to keep our employees fit, healthy and cancer free. We realize the initiatives we take with our own workforce set an example for all Highmark Health Services clients and, indeed, for all of the communities in which we provide health insurance.”
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer is a nonprofit organization of cancer-fighting CEOs chaired by Christopher A. Viehbacher, chief executive officer of Sanofi. The CEO Roundtable on Cancer, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), many of its designated cancer centers, and leading health nonprofit organizations and professionals created the CEO Cancer Gold Standard calling 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. Today, more than four million employees and family members are benefiting from the vision and leadership of the more than 150 companies that have earned Gold Standard accreditation.
“We are pleased to recognize the efforts of Highmark Health Services,” said Viehbacher. “CEOs in healthcare industries see firsthand the benefit that improved workplace health and wellness can have in cancer prevention and improved overall health. I hope the leadership and commitment of Bill Winkenwerder and the team at Highmark Health Services will encourage other employers across all industries to become Gold Standard accredited.”
To earn Gold Standard 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.
In addition to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fifteen NCI-designated cancer centers and more than forty other hospitals and medical centers have earned Gold Standard accreditation. 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. Other Gold Standard employers include insurers like Aetna, Cigna, State Farm and several Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates; 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, Johnson & Johnson and Lowe’s.
About Highmark Health Services
Highmark Health Services is among the largest health insurers in the United States and the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark Health Services operates health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.3 million members. Its diversified health businesses serve group customer and individual health needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related health businesses. Highmark Health Services is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
About the CEO Roundtable on Cancer
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded in 2001, when former President George H.W. Bush challenged a group of executives to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families." The CEOs responded by creating and encouraging the widespread adoption of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard, which calls for organizations to evaluate their health benefits and workplace culture and take extensive, concrete actions in five key areas of health and wellness to fight cancer in the workplace. For more information on the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ and the web-based accreditation process and support, please visit www.CancerGoldStandard.org.
# # #
For more information:
CEO Roundtable on Cancer
Therese Martin, Project Assistant
Highmark Health Services