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SALISBURY, Md. -- Perdue Farms Inc. here has been awarded an honorable mention in the 2005 C. Everett Koop Health Awards, for an innovative employee health program.
Perdue's Health Improvement Program (HIP) initiative encourages associates to participate in a health screening and behavior modification program working through the company's on-site health care professionals.
HIP focuses on improving Perdue associates' health in five areas: blood pressure, cholesterol, tobacco use, weight control and exercise. Participants complete a Health Risk Appraisal, have blood drawn and complete a consultation with a HIP specialist. The participant chooses two identified health areas on which he or she wants to focus, and then meets periodically with the HIP specialist to chart progress.
During a pilot of the program conducted in six Perdue poultry processing plants, HIP participants showed a 25 percent reduction in risk factors vs. a 2 percent reduction in the control group. The most dramatic improvement was in control of blood pressure, with a 70 percent reduction in number of people with high blood pressure in the HIP group. Based on these results, HIP has expanded to other Perdue facilities.
The C. Everett Koop Awards are given by the Health Project, a non-profit, private-public consortium chaired by C. Everett Koop, M.D. The Health Project is dedicated to the furthering better health and lowered medical costs by reducing the need and demand for medical services. The C. Everett Koop Health Awards are given each year to worksite, community or provider programs that have soundly documented improved health and decreased medical costs.
In addition to HIP, Perdue offers on-site health care to its associates through Wellness Centers located within or adjacent to its processing facilities. Partnering with local doctors and other health care providers, the Wellness Centers offer free preventive screenings and allow associates to schedule medical appointments during their regular work shift and to go to appointments while being paid.