Con-way Freight expands employee wellness program

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Con-way Freight announced that it has launched a major expansion of a successful wellness program that is improving the health and physical fitness of its employees while reducing incidences of workplace injuries and their associated costs. Initially rolled out at 14 company facilities across eight states, the company is expanding the initiative into an additional 52 facilities, reaching 4,100 more employees in another 13 states. By the close of 2008, the program, provided in collaboration with Wellness Coaches USA, will be available to a total of 6,400 employees at 66 facilities in 21 states.

In conjunction with the program expansion, Con-way Freight also is launching a 10-week weight-loss competition titled “Choose to Lose.” The competition is open to employees throughout the company’s network of more than 400 service locations. Participating employees will attend periodic weigh-ins, with $100, $50 and $25 clothing-store gift certificates to be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners in each of the wellness program’s regions. There also will be an award for the service center with the greatest participation.

Extraordinary initial results and positive employee feedback were the primary drivers behind the decision to expand the program, in which trained health and fitness professionals provided by Wellness Coaches USA are stationed at the company’s freight service centers, says Bob Petrancosta, vice president of safety for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Con-way Freight. “We’ve seen lifelong smokers quitting smoking, employees lowering chronic high blood pressure, overweight employees shedding pounds and still others discovering and being treated for life-threatening conditions,” Petrancosta says. “You can’t put a price tag on successes like that.”

Launched in early 2007 as a pilot program at several locations, participation in the wellness initiative quickly topped expectations, with as many as 95 percent of employees choosing to meet voluntarily – and privately – with their on-site coach for personal health assessment screening and counseling, according to Con-way Freight.