SOURCE: Virgin HealthMiles

Virgin HealthMiles

May 04, 2010 09:44 ET

Virgin HealthMiles Welcomes SunTrust as Latest Company to Select Unique Pay-for-Prevention Approach to Creating a Healthier Workforce

Financial Services Holding Company Taps Virgin HealthMiles to Expand Its Commitment to Employee Health and Wellness

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2010) -  Virgin HealthMiles, a leading provider of employee health and productivity programs that reward individuals for getting healthy, today announced that SunTrust Banks, Inc., one of the nation's largest financial services holding companies, has implemented the Virgin HealthMiles Pay-for-Prevention™ approach to employee wellness. 

SunTrust launched the Virgin HealthMiles program to its approximately 28,000 employees in January 2010. Since then, nearly 40 percent of SunTrust's employees have joined the Virgin HealthMiles program -- significantly above the industry average of single-digit participation in traditional wellness programs. Employees on SunTrust's health plan who participate in the Virgin HealthMiles program have the opportunity to earn up to $300 per year in rewards, which is added to either their Health Reimbursement or Health Savings Accounts. And because the Virgin HealthMiles program is easily integrated into a company's umbrella wellness initiative, SunTrust is able to offer additional HealthMiles rewards for employees participating in its health risk assessment, disease management, and health coaching programs, an approach it hopes to spur higher rates of engagement in these important preventive health measures. 

"With the launch of Virgin HealthMiles, SunTrust is stepping up its investment and commitment to creating a healthier workforce," said Donna Lange, Senior Vice President and Corporate Benefits Director, SunTrust Banks. "The Virgin HealthMiles program offers us a new approach, not just to gain a good financial ROI for our wellness initiatives, but to create a healthier, happier and more productive workforce. We believe in the Virgin HealthMiles philosophy that health is improved through physical activity, which will result in a lower healthcare spend. Virgin HealthMiles has created a simple way for everyone to focus on activities they enjoy and receive up to $300 contributed to a personal health account. We can already see the excitement and camaraderie building. Our teammates are challenging each other, having fun and doing something that will improve their health." 

"SunTrust shares our belief that providing employees with the right tools, information and support makes all the difference in helping them make better lifestyle choices that contribute to improved health," said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin HealthMiles. "It's exciting to see the high employee engagement rates that SunTrust has already generated in just the first quarter with the Virgin HealthMiles program. And because of the measurement and tracking capabilities that are built in to the Virgin HealthMiles program, SunTrust will be able to get a true assessment of the value and impact of its employee health initiative. We're delighted to welcome SunTrust to the Virgin HealthMiles family." 

About Virgin HealthMiles Pay-for-Prevention™ Approach
Pioneered by Virgin HealthMiles, the Pay-for-Prevention model creates a culture of prevention that rewards healthy behaviors and aligns an organization's interests with those of its employees to drive down lifestyle-related healthcare and productivity costs. Employers benefit from validated activity and health data, which ensures rewards are earned for actual performance, and real-time reporting, which details measurable improvements in the health of their workforce and the impact of their overall wellness strategy. Such significant engagement has led to high member satisfaction and physical activity levels: 98 percent of Virgin HealthMiles members are satisfied with the program, while 95 percent would recommend it to a friend or colleague. 

About Virgin HealthMiles, Inc.
Virgin HealthMiles provides employee health programs that pay people to get active. The company's Pay-for-Prevention™ approach, based on physical activity and healthy lifestyle change, attracts an average of 40 percent of employees who participate, which helps organizations reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction. The program is offered by employers, government entities, and insurers. Over 120 industry leaders representing more than 500,000 employees across the U.S., including American Diabetes Association, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Hospital Corporation of America-Shared Services, Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, and SunGard, have selected Virgin HealthMiles' award-winning program for their employees. The company is a member of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. For more information, visit www.virginhealthmiles.com.

About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of March 31, 2010, SunTrust had total assets of $171.8 billion and total deposits of $118.8 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The Company also serves clients in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, investment management, equipment leasing and investment banking services. SunTrust's Internet address is suntrust.com.

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