Newsroom | 19 March 2014

Finalists Named in Global Healthy Workplace Awards, Sponsored by Cigna in Shanghai


Cigna Corporation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758 (U.S.)

  • IBM, Unilever lead among multinational companies
  • Vanderbilt University, Telefônica do Brasil represent the best among large employers
  • Technica International, Spokane Regional Health District excel among smaller employers
  • GE will receive honorable mention for outstanding wellness program in China

SHANGHAI & BLOOMFIELD, Conn., March 19, 2014 - Six employers named as Global Healthy Workplace Award finalists will present their programs on a world stage at the second Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit (GHWAS) taking place April 9-10 at the Andaz Hotel, Shanghai, China. GE, while not a global finalist, will be recognized among China applicants for its outstanding wellness program.

Employers from 33 countries vied for the distinction of being considered among the world's healthiest workplaces. GHWAS submissions were reviewed by an international panel of health and wellness experts from five continents who judged the programs based on the Healthy Workplace Model for Action developed by the World Health Organization. Judges remarked that this year's award applicants distinguished themselves in leadership and innovation.

A highlight of the Summit will be the presentations by the six finalists, whose programs represent the best of the international business community's ability to successfully promote good health among their employees and the communities they serve. The Summit will attract 150 leaders from business, public health, academia, government and non-government organizations (NGOs), united in the belief that employers can serve as the entry point to better health for the worldwide workforce.

The three winning employers will be announced at the close of the Summit. A complete agenda can be found at

Here are the finalists:

Multi-national Employers

IBM has a long-standing tradition in creating healthy workplaces throughout the world and continues to drive an integrated approach to workplace health. IBM has established 10 global priorities for health promotion, which are applied to its many employees globally. For example, IBM uses social analytics technology to capture "Mini Pulse" feedback from employees as they interact with health programs.

Unilever (Netherlands/United Kingdom)
Unilever calculated a return on investment with its Lamplighter program in mature countries of 3.14 Euros for every Euro spent. Of note is Unilever's Global Mental Health Standard, which evaluates sources of employee pressure, enhances personal resilience and provides counseling and employee referrals where needed.

Large Employers

Telefônica do Brasil (Brazil)
Telefônica was a semi-finalist last year and reapplied with a stronger program. Telefônica has developed its own self-managed health insurance plan, with broad coverage all over Brazil. One of the outcomes of the comprehensive "BEM PERTO" program is that health insurance fees are only 7.8 percent of monthly payroll, whereas the average among other Brazilian enterprises is 15 percent of payroll.

Vanderbilt University (USA)
Vanderbilt's program was the first of its kind at U.S. academic medical centers, and elements of the program have been expanded into other institutions across the United States. Ongoing tracking and improvement systems are used, including a dashboard using the Health Enhancement Research Organization's modifiable lifestyle risks and the Centers for Disease Control's Healthy People 2020 targets and milestones.

Small and Mid-Sized Employers

Spokane Regional Health District (USA)
Spokane is a local public health agency with 250 employees who serve a population of more than 400,000 in Spokane County, Washington. The Living Well Program has a 15-year history and enjoys strong leadership support and active involvement. Spokane has developed policies, system and environmental changes that have greatly enhanced the way employees embrace safe and healthy choices.

Technica International (Lebanon)
Technica International, a repeat finalist and a family business of 140 employees, incorporated all of its health, safety and environment initiatives under its Employee Satisfaction Program. Technica continues to excel in its efforts to share its experience and expertise with other companies as well as the community-at-large in Lebanon.

Cigna and the Cigna Foundation are sponsors of the GHWAS, hosted by the Global Knowledge Exchange Network in association with two international organizations with extensive health experience, International Health Consulting and the i-genius world community of social entrepreneurs. The GHWAS and Cigna also are the exclusive sponsors of the 2014 Buck Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies, which will be unveiled at the Shanghai Summit.

For more information contact and visit or

About the Cigna Foundation
The Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

About Cigna
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group disability, life, and accident coverage. Cigna has sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, with approximately 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

About GKEN
Global Knowledge Exchange Network on health care (GKEN) is chartered as a not for profit (501c-3) and is focused on advancing emerging better practices in health and health care among developing and developed nations around the globe. Our emphasis is on the health system aspects of health and healthcare. Through engaging thought leaders around the globe we create cross cultural learning that enables improvements in health system practices.

About i-genius
i-genius is a world community of social entrepreneurs with members in over 200 countries. It promotes social entrepreneurship and provides training, events and business development support to its global community. Based in London.

About International Health Consulting
International Health Consulting (IHC) is an independent health promotion consultancy with locations in central Europe and the United States. Armed with a network of over 250 international health promotion professionals worldwide, IHC can develop customized solutions that are tailored to local populations.