Healthy Companies Honored

It's little surprise that 18- to 34-year-olds are at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use, and the manufacturing industry traditionally draws heavily from this pool of job seekers.

Glaxo Wellcome Inc., Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., the City of Indianapolis and Marion County Sheriff's Department, and AlliedSignal were honored as the best corporate health programs in the United States by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Winners of the 1999 ACOEM Corporate Health Achievement Awards were judged based on four broad categories: healthy people, healthy environment, healthy company, and overall management and leadership.

Glaxo Wellcome, a pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., was honored for its model practices that include:

  • Screening programs for skin cancer, breast cancer and hemochromatosis, an inherited disorder of iron metabolism that leads to cirrhosis, heart failure, diabetes and arthropathy;
  • Medical surveillance targeted to 53 exposure categories; and
  • Health education and wellness programs dealing with stress/depression, smoking cessation, nutrition and weight management, fitness and preventive health practices.

By presenting programs that are of interest to employees, said medical director Dr. Gregg Stave, the company has increased participation rates and saved more than $1 million in health-related costs.

Integrated disability management program that focuses on disability prevention and facilitating an early return to work. From 1996 to 1998, Glaxo Wellcome reduced days lost from work because of medical absences by nearly 20,000 days, equivalent to adding 100 employees to the payroll. In that same period, the company also reduced its short-term disability rate and cut its workers' compensation incurred costs by more than half.

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