Wake Forest Baptist Recognized Again as the Triad’s Only Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Company

October 2, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – For the third year in a row, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s (AHA) highest level of recognition for promoting physical activity and health for employees within the workplace.

The AHA has designated Wake Forest Baptist a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company, the only one in the Triad rated at the highest tier. Fit-Friendly companies implement programs to encourage physical activity and good nutrition by creating campus-wide walking routes, offering healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, providing annual employee health risk assessments and having online tracking tools.

Companies that achieve Platinum recognition — the highest tier — take the program a step further by measuring the outcomes of their wellness efforts. “We are honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our efforts to help our employees live healthier lives,” said Dr. John McConnell, CEO of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. “We know that employee health and wellness programs work. This is an important focus for us at Wake Forest Baptist and one way that we can help reduce the national epidemic of obesity and rising health care costs.”

The AHA notes that worksite wellness programs are proven to prevent the major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as well as reduce turnover and achieve higher levels of productivity and produce positive results overall. For more information about the Start! Fit-Friendly Program, go to startwalkingnow.org.

ActionHealth, which is Wake Forest Baptist’s employee wellness department, has created walking routes around campus to encourage physical activity. ActionHealth also offers a Health Incentive Program that allows employees to have a personal wellness profile created and gives them an opportunity to attend health education classes.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is the local sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Start! Tanglewood Heart and Stroke Walk on Oct. 17, an event that raises funds for heart and stroke research and prevention education. To learn more about the walk, go to www.starttanglewoodnc.org.


Media Relations

Lisa Long: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587

Bonnie Davis: bdavis@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-1597