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Coke, J&J join big companies behind new employee wellness push

Reuters

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Leaders of some of the biggest U.S. corporations, from Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) to Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), unveiled a campaign on Tuesday to reduce the nation’s healthcare costs, urging their peers to embrace wellness programs to improve employee health.

The newly-formed group, called The CEO Council on Health and Innovation, said it came together “to lead the U.S. business community” in improving employee and community health and reducing costs.

The council’s members also include Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), Aetna Inc (AET.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Walgreen Co (WAG.N), McKinsey & Co, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and the Institute for Advanced Health. Combined, the group said its healthcare benefits cover 150 million people.

In a report released at a press conference in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the Bipartisan Policy Center, the council called on employers to accelerate the adoption of wellness programs to improve nutrition and weight management, promote physical activity, help employees quit smoking and manage chronic diseases.

KEYWORDS: BANK OF AMERICA, BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD, COCA-COLA, VERIZON, AETNA, MCKINSEY & COMPANY, CEO COUNCIL ON HEALTH AND INNOVATION, WALGREEN CO.