Union Pacific Receives 2005 C. Everett Koop National Health Award
UP Honored for Integrated Health, Productivity and Safety Management Programs
Omaha, Neb., December 8, 2005 During a special ceremony on December 7, The Health Project – a non-profit, private-public consortium chaired by former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop – awarded Union Pacific the 2005 C. Everett Koop National Health Award for its innovative health improvement programs.
"We are honored to again receive this prestigious award," said Barb Schaefer, senior vice president-Human Resources. "We know that supporting our employees and their families in their efforts to stay healthy is a win-win – that’s why we’ve put together an extensive program of health and wellness initiatives across our system."
"Union Pacific Railroad has established a world-class integrated health, productivity and safety management program which has achieved widespread recognition as a best practice," said James F. Fries, M.D., professor, Stanford University School of Medicine and chief executive officer and chief science officer, The Health Project.
Union Pacific’s Health Improvement Programs include a "health index" report card that provides feedback to managers related to their support of health and safety efforts at the railroad. This unique system provides key health metrics to managers at each major company site. Additionally, Union Pacific has introduced aggressive intervention programs to reduce accidents at the workplace and improve employee health. For example, an expanded smoking policy includes not hiring smokers in states where it is legal to do so, and nutrition policies offer healthy food choices in vending machines and cafeterias. Food vendors are determined by their ability to provide healthy food choices.
Across its 23-state operating area, Union Pacific integrates its health messages and programs into the business structure of its mechanical shops and transportation service units. Health screenings and health fairs are conducted during regular business meetings. A network of regional health coordinators and onsite occupational health nurses ensures that wellness activities are part of employees’ daily lives.
Tying its wellness programs to its medical benefits, in 2005 the company began offering a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) among its more traditional healthcare plans for managers. Under the CDHP, Union Pacific provides financial incentives if the manager is a non-smoker (or completes the UP smoking cessation course) and fills out a Wellness Assessment to help identify lifestyle risks that could be addressed through an appropriate health program. The CDHP also encourages employees to be better healthcare consumers, by researching health topics to prepare for office visits, asking questions of their physicians, and determining which healthcare facilities have the best outcomes for specific medical procedures.
Union Pacific is the only railroad to receive the C. Everett Koop National Health Award, and has received it more times than any other company – in 1994, 1997 and 2001.
The Health Project is a non-profit, private-public consortium chaired by Dr. C. Everett Koop and dedicated to the furtherance of better health and lower medical costs by reducing the need and demand for medical services. Since 1994, the C. Everett Koop National Health Awards have been given out each year to worksite, community or provider programs that have soundly documented improved health and decreased medical costs.
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.
For further information, contact Gene Hinkle, (402) 514-9406.
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