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Community Health Network recognized as an American Heart Association Start! Fit-Friendly Company

For release on October 19, 2011

Indianapolis, IN---Community Health Network has been recognized as a Gold-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association’s Start! Initiative for helping employees eat better and move more.

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Community Health Network, said Greg Messick, program manager/innovative programming for health promotion services at Community Health Network. “We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association and we’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employee’s health and produce even more positive results for our organization overall.”

Start! Fit-Friendly companies reach Gold-Level status by implementing various activities and programs to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools. The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping companies make their employees’ health and wellness a priority.

American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. Start! helps change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

Recognition is a critical component of the Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program. Employers that join this program quality for official recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the program’s national website.

“The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement opportunity for corporations to increase employees’ physical activity, which will help improve their health—and their employer’s bottom line,” said Dan Krajnovich, chairman of the board of the American Heart Association Indianapolis Metropolitan Board of Directors. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program.”

Community Health Network’s comprehensive employee wellness program for its 11,000+ employees includes a number of health programs and opportunities for fitness in the workplace. BodyZone, an onsite fitness center, is available 24 hours a day and offers state-of-the-art Life Fitness exercise equipment. Also available to network employees are wellness and exercise classes, healthy cooking demonstrations, walking programs, an Employee Assistance Program, free biometric screenings, farmer’s markets, Weight Watchers at Work, and other wellness offerings. In addition, Community offers support groups in the workplace for losing weight, free nutrition counseling by registered dietitians, personal training and personal wellness coaches.

For more information about the Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, visit startwalkingnow.org.

About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in access to innovative and compassionate healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, in convenient health pavilions and doctor’s offices, in the workplace, at schools, in the home and online. As a non-profit health system with multiple sites of care and affiliates throughout Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, acute care and specialty hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices, home care services, walk-in care centers and employer health services. To put the needs and the convenience of patients first, Community pioneers advanced treatments and world-class health information technologies, with a focus on ease of access to exceptional care.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.


Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations