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News Room: Press Releases

Virtua recognized for workplace efforts to prevent cancer

Virtua Health received national recognition for its employee wellness program which improves the health of its employees by helping reduce their risks of cancer. The CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation from the CEO Roundtable is reserved for companies that meet or exceed rigorous requirements, and puts Virtua in the company of Duke Medicine, the American Cancer Society and Johnson & Johnson. Virtua is the first hospital in New Jersey and only the 23rd organization in the country to receive the honor.

"We are proud of this recognition in our fight against cancer," said Richard P. Miller, Virtua president and CEO. "We work hard to provide the best resources possible to our employees, including smoking cessation, weight loss and fitness programs."

The award is the result of an intense process during which Virtua submitted 121 pages of application and support documentation. Highlights include Virtua's implementation of a totally tobacco-free environment for patients, employees, visitors and guests. Participants in Virtua's current employee walking challenge have logged more than 24,000 miles over the past three months. "Wellness" has been elevated to a strategic imperative of all of Virtua's food service vendors resulting in healthier cafeteria menu selections and nutritional education. Employees enrolled in weight loss programs have collectively shed about four tons.

To earn Gold Standard accreditation, a company or organization must establish programs to reduce cancer risk through discouraging tobacco use; encouraging physical activity and teaching diet and nutrition; detecting cancer at its earliest stages; and providing access to quality care and clinical trials.

"Adopting the Gold Standard is a tribute to the value that Virtua Health and their leadership team place on their employees and to their extraordinary commitment to helping us win the battle against cancer," said William C. Weldon, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson who chairs the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. The non-profit organization created the CEO Cancer Gold Standard in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and leading corporate health professionals.

Statistics show that these efforts have a tangible impact on the cost of treating cancer. In 2005, cancer-related costs totaled nearly $210 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Cancer Society estimates that at least half of all cancer deaths could be avoided. Programs such as those established under the guidance of the CEO Roundtable help reduce cancer mortality.

Joining Virtua Health as recipients of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation from the CEO Roundtable on Cancer are: the American Cancer Society, American Legacy Foundation, AstraZeneca, C-Change, Duke Medicine, Edelman, Enzon Pharmaceuticals, GHI, GlaxoSmithKline, Jenner & Block, Johnson & Johnson, The Lance Armstrong Foundation, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Moffitt Cancer Center, Novartis, OSI Pharmaceuticals, PhRMA, PPD, Quintiles Transnational, SAS Institute, The University of North Dakota and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley for seven consecutive years. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit  www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.