Six organizations have been accredited with the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM, joining six others that have earned a second year of Gold Standard accreditation. The CEO Cancer Gold Standard is a workplace initiative that combats cancer by focusing on three objectives: risk reduction, early detection and quality care.
"We congratulate all of the companies that have met the rigorous requirements of the Gold Standard and we are especially pleased that the number of companies earning Gold Standard accreditation has doubled within the past year," said William C. Weldon, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson and chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, an organization of CEOs from diverse industries who have pledged to fight cancer in workplaces across the United States. "Adopting the Gold Standard is a tribute to the leadership of the CEOs of these organizations, and to the high value they place on their employees," added Weldon.
The CEO Roundtable announces today the six newly-accredited organizations: American Legacy Foundation, Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Jenner & Block, MD Anderson Cancer Center, SAS Institute and Quintiles Transnational Corp. They join AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, OSI Pharmaceuticals and the national headquarters of the American Cancer Society, all of which were originally accredited for 2006 and which have been re-accredited today with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard.
Organizations that adopt the CEO Cancer Gold Standard offer a series of benefits and programs that lower the risk of cancer through lifestyle changes. These include eliminating the use of tobacco, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet. Gold Standard companies also cover preventive screenings so that more cancers will be detected at the earliest possible stage when treatment can improve the outcome. And finally, a Gold Standard organization provides access to the best-available treatment, including clinical trials, when a cancer diagnosis becomes a reality for an employee or a family member.
In addition to the specific benefits and programs that the Gold Standard requires, a Gold Standard employer maintains a culture that fosters healthy lifestyles, encourages age-and-gender-appropriate cancer screenings, and lends support when an employee or a family member is diagnosed with cancer. Gold Standard employers maintain a supportive culture in a number of creative ways. Examples include: making it easier for employees to exercise by providing bike racks or placing art in stairwells, offering healthy food choices in company cafeterias at lower prices, sending email reminders about screenings on an employee's birthday, allowing paid time off for employees to receive their screenings, and creating lunchtime support groups for employees who are attempting to quit smoking.
"The beauty of the Gold Standard is its comprehensive approach, addressing employee benefits, workplace culture and opportunities for positive lifestyle changes," said Dr. Oren Cohen, Chief Medical Officer at Quintiles Transnational Corp., one of the six newly-accredited Gold Standard companies. "For example, we provide our employees access to nutrition counseling, we put healthy choice options in our vending machines and cafeterias, and we encourage and pay for colon cancer screening tests. That's the best way I know to cover all the bases of cancer prevention and early detection, and it's at the heart of the Gold Standard," added Cohen.
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded in 2001, when former President George H.W. Bush challenged a group of executives, led by Robert A. Ingram, then the CEO of Glaxo Wellcome, now GlaxoSmithKline, to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families." The CEOs responded with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard, and have since collaborated with the American Cancer Society to encourage its widespread adoption in workplaces across the country. "We know that at least half of all cancer deaths can be prevented," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. "The chief executive officers of large and small companies and nonprofits have an enormous opportunity to make a difference in their bottom lines, and more importantly, in the lives of their employees. By creating a healthier workplace and becoming an accredited organization, everyone benefits."