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3 area employers earn nod from Heart Association

BlueCross BlueShield, Independent Health and Univera Healthcare all were recently recognized as Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksites by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Independent Health. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association,” said Dr. Michael Cropp, president and CEO of Independent Health. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our organization overall.”

To earn Platinum-level status, employers must:

• Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.

• Increase healthy eating options at the work site.

• Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.

• Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.

• Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

Companies and individuals can learn more about the program under the healthy living tab at

Meanwhile, the parent corporation of BlueCross BlueShield and Univera, along with the Seneca Gaming Corp. have achieved the Health Champion designation from the American Diabetes Association, which recognizes each employer’s efforts to inspire and encourage organizational well-being as part of the Association’s “Wellness Lives Here” initiative.

“Wellness Lives Here is a new initiative designed to promote healthy lifestyles at work and beyond,” said Peter Knappen, area director for the American Diabetes Association. “These employers should be commended for encouraging their employees to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by adopting healthy habits throughout the year.”

To qualify, a company or organization must meet a certain number of criteria in three areas:

• Nutrition and weight management.

• Physical activity.

• Organizational well-being.

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