DaimlerChrysler and UAW Recognized for Wellness Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is honoring the DaimlerChrysler/United Auto Workers National Wellness Program as one of the nation's top healthy workforce prevention initiatives.

Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson honored the DaimlerChrysler/United Auto Workers (UAW) National Wellness Program as one of 11 winners of the second annual Innovation in Prevention Awards. Innovations in Prevention Awards highlight businesses and organizations that are leading efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. DaimlerChrysler and the UAW are recognized in the Healthy Workforce Large Employer category for the National Wellness Program. The program, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., improves employee health, contains health care costs, cuts absenteeism and raises productivity.

"The National Wellness Program helps foster fitness and promote healthier lifestyles among DaimlerChrysler employees," said Thompson. "The program is an excellent tool to improve the health of the employees."

The foundation of the National Wellness Program is the health risk assessment and screening, which are offered annually and are free to full-time employees. The top risk areas at each worksite are determined from these screenings, and programs are designed to address the risks. The programs include health education, weight management and smoking cessation.

"The program's goal is to improve the health and wellness of our most valuable resource our employees," said Cyndy Parker, a care management administrator for DaimlerChrysler, which was honored by Occupational Hazards in 2003 as one of America's Safest Companies.

"The UAW worked closely with DaimlerChrysler to develop the goals of the wellness program," said Susan Crabtree, benefit coordinator for the UAW. "We support programs that encourage healthy lifestyles and preventative care benefiting our members."

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