Perdue Farms was presented a Gold Wellness at Work Award from the Maryland Department of Health ‘Healthiest Maryland Business initiative for achievements in improving associates’ health through the company’s innovative Health Improvement Program. It’s the fourth year in a row Perdue has received the award.
“Worksites present a terrific setting to improve health and prevent chronic conditions for Maryland employees,” said Kristi Pier, director for the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control. “The Wellness at Work awards program acknowledges the dedication businesses make to improve health in their worksites.”
The award was presented at the 10th annual Maryland Workplace Health and Wellness Symposium in Baltimore.
Established in 2008, Perdue’s HIP encourages associates to participate in a voluntary health screening and healthy activities by working with the company’s on-site health care professionals. HIP is a preventative program designed to improve associates’ health and wellness by focusing on manageable health risks, including smoking, weight, diabetes and blood pressure.
“We’re pleased that Maryland continues to recognize Perdue’s commitment to providing our associates with meaningful wellness programs that help them improve their lives,” said Dawn Carey, director of Perdue’s health and wellness programs. “Our Health Improvement Program is about helping associates get, and stay, healthy. We can support and encourage them to make positive changes in their lives that will not only affect them, but their families and the communities in which they live.”
Perdue accepted the award after presenting data from at least two years of demonstrated improvement in three specific health areas: physical activity/weight, hypertension, and diabetes. HIP data from 2017 to 2019 showed:
- 6 percent decrease in weight
- 13 percent of reported smoking cessation
- 38 percent of pre-diabetic and diabetic associates decreased A1C sugar levels
Enrollment in HIP has increased about 85 percent since the first year and continues to make an impact on many Perdue associates’ lives.
“HIP continues to be a valuable benefit to our associates given that most chronic conditions often do not present any signs or symptoms but are very preventable with lifestyle changes,” said Cheryl Shrieves, Perdue corporate health strategies manager.
In tandem with HIP, Perdue provides on-site health care to its associates through a network of 16 Wellness Centers at its major locations. Through partnerships with local doctors and other healthcare providers, Perdue associates have access to free preventative screenings and can schedule medical appointments during regular work hours while still getting paid. When continued medical care is required, Wellness Centers provide support for such conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma, as well as immediate care for infections, bronchitis, injuries and other medical conditions. Women’s health, podiatry and pediatrics are also available at the Wellness Center.
“Our Wellness Centers and Health Improvement Program builds upon our company’s people-first philosophy,” said Randy Day, CEO of Perdue Farms. “We’re investing in the health and well-being of our associates.”
The Wellness at Work Awards is sponsored by Healthiest Maryland Businesses, the state’s initiative to support healthy workplaces. Employers may earn a Gold, Silver, Bronze or On the Path award. Eligibility requires businesses to establish leadership support for wellness, create wellness committees, survey the needs and interests of their employees, set health improvement goals and develop monitoring tools to track outcomes over time.