SOURCE: National Business Group on Health

March 13, 2008 11:27 ET

National Business Group on Health Honors Three Executives for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 13, 2008) - The National Business Group on Health, a non-profit group of 300 large employers, today awarded its prestigious Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing to three leaders who have produced some of the most valuable research and initiatives in health, productivity and human capital.

Wayne Burton, MD, Senior Vice President, JPMorgan Chase, Dee Edington, PhD, Director, University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, and Ron Goetzel, PhD, Research Professor and Director, Emory University, Institute for Health and Productivity Studies and Vice President of Consulting and Applied Research, Thomson Healthcare were recognized by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) for their extraordinary vision and innovations in helping to control costs, improve quality of life, and get the highest return on investments in human capital.

"The NBGH is very proud to honor these three outstanding individuals for their impressive contributions to health and productivity," said Martin Sepulveda, MD, FACP, Vice President, Global Well Being Services and Health Benefits at IBM, member of the NBGH Board and Chair of its Award Committee. "Our award committee found that each of the winners made such impressive contributions to the field that they all deserved the highest honor we present each year." The awards were presented at the NBGH Business Health Agenda conference in Washington, DC.

Dr. Burton began his influential research when he became the Corporate Medical Director of the First National Bank of Chicago in 1982 and quickly became a leader within the corporate medical world. Studies such as his work on the importance of integrating health risk and medical data and the impact of depression on employees' quality of life and productivity have inspired employers to help their employees and dependents obtain appropriate treatment, lose weight and choose healthier lifestyles. Dr. Burton's significant research into asthma and obesity has provided employers with a better understanding of asthma disease management and education programs and showed how obesity has profound implications for employers who bear the cost consequences of obesity in lost productivity and high medical claims costs.

Dr. Edington's research focuses on the relationship between healthy lifestyles, vitality and quality of life, as they benefit both individuals and organizations. Over the years, Dr. Edington has influenced how employers and health care people think about health -- that good health is not just the absence of disease but is also vitality, high performance, resiliency and energy both for individuals and organizations. His studies of employer-based wellness programs suggest that investing in a "low-risk maintenance" strategy is the best way to control health care costs. He has long espoused that employers and policymakers focus on promoting the health of the population, which will be the most effective and cost effective way to ensure the health, vitality and quality of life of employees, dependents, and retirees.

Dr. Goetzel is one of the best known and widely published experts in health and productivity management, return-on-investment, program evaluation and outcomes research. He was the Founding Director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, whose mission is to bridge the gap between academia, the business community, and the healthcare policy world. Dr. Goetzel is also principal investigator for several large-scale research projects. He has published several landmark articles on health care and productivity and has conducted many large-scale evaluations of health promotion, disease prevention, demand and disease management programs which have resulted in a long list of highly influential and widely used health improvement initiatives.

"Health and productivity of employees have rapidly become some of the most important concerns of employers, especially with dramatic workforce changes, the war for talent within a global economy and the economic slowdown. The pioneer work of these three visionaries has enabled employers to measure, manage and significantly improve workers' productivity and the return of employers' investments in human capital," said Helen Darling, NBGH President.

About the Award for Excellence and Innovation in Value Purchasing

The Business Group annually awards individuals, organizations or programs that encourage the efficient use of health care resources in addition to improving quality and affordability; encourage excellent practices that are started by or involve large employers; or have a proven track record of increasing value in health care through superior purchasing practices or have developed approaches, methodologies and tools that enable outstanding health benefit management practices.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues. The Business Group identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information about the Business Group, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

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