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    American Heart Association Honors Safeway CEO Steve Burd

    :Executive recognized for leadership in solving the national health care crisis

    Steve Burd of Safeway was honored April 26 with the prestigious Corporate Heart of Gold Award, presented annually at the American Heart Association's Heart of Gold Gala in Alameda, Calif. The award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke risks in an effort to build a healthier community.

    "In addition to being a highly successful CEO, Steve clearly understands and is actively involved in one of our country's highest priorities -- health care reform," said Roman J. Bowser, e.v.p. and c.e.o. of the American Heart Association's Western States Affiliate. "When I've heard Steve speak about health care reform, I have been so impressed by his ability to articulate market based solutions that would really work, as opposed to the standard bromides touted by politicians from the two major parties. And Steve doesn't just talk about it. He is actively involved in making it happen, both in Safeway and in the state capital."

    As previously reported b y PG, under the direction of its chairman, president and c.e.o., Safeway has reversed an internal trend of rising health care costs by implementing an innovative plan that pays 100 percent of preventive care for employees, rewards health-promoting behavior and allows employees to take more control of their health care decisions. Participating employees have a better, more comprehensive health plan while their out-of-pocket costs have decreased 25 percent to 34 percent over a two-year period.  More than 70 percent of eligible non-union employees participate in the plan.

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