Memorial Sloan-Kettering Wellness Program Receives Prestigious Award

by: Nichole Gunn November 8, 2011

The world’s largest and oldest private medical establishment is Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and with devotion to research, education, patient care, and cancer prevention it was recently recognized with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation, according to a press release published by MarketWatch.com.

The prestigious award is given by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. The Roundtable was founded in 2001 and is a nonprofit institution consisting of CEOs working in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute and honors those employers that continually strive toward excellence in health.

Sanofi CEO Christopher Viehbacker, who chairs the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, said, “This Gold Standard accreditation is an acknowledgement of the leadership of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s President and CEO, Dr. Craig B. Thompson, and his dedication to the health of employees and their families.”

He added that the award further provides testimony to Sloan-Kettering’s efforts to enhance the health of all, beginning with its own workforce.

Sloan-Kettering was found worthy of the award for its promotion and support of healthy lifestyle options among its workforce and their families through strategies including the MSKCC Employee Wellness Program. This incentive initiative provides employees with easy access to a number of health-related services, including:

  • Weight management
  • Nutritional guidance
  • Counseling
  • Stress reduction strategies
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Fitness coaching
  • Cancer screenings
  • Integrative medicine
  • Work and life balance strategies

In order for employers to receive the CEO Cancer Gold Standard they must analyze and monitor their corporate culture and health benefits. They must also take tangible steps in five essential health and wellness areas to fight cancer and implement programs that are geared toward cancer risk reduction through initiatives, such as promotion of healthy diets, physical activity, cancer screenings, the participation in clinical trials, and more.

Crain’s Detroit Business reported on another award, this one from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which went to holistic health care practitioner Robert Levine. Levine, also a brain researcher at Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, received the $400,000 grant for the implementation of a group wellness pilot project.

Implementing additional programs at Chrysler and Dow Chemical, Levine was able to help employees there also. Working with approximately 100 workers at Chrysler, he helped reduce lower back pain in 55 percent of the participants.

Levine told Crain’s Detroit that he and his associates have a “pretty good track record.” He added that there is a definite demand for these types of programs because they help the well-being of individuals and save companies money. He went on to explain, “Because those employees need less drugs, see the doctor less, avoid failed physical therapy, we have inferential cost savings that can be achieved.”