APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Laying the Foundation for Employee Health

AlabamaAmerican Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO) has cared for its employees, dependents and retirees since the early 1900s, and the company’s internal wellness program is an industry leader that delivers high participation rates and measurable results.

ACIPCO Wellness provides numerous prevention and disease management programs including health screening and coaching, nutrition and weight loss, blood pressure management, diabetes education, back injury prevention, stress management and physical therapy for employees with work-related injuries. Additionally, the company offers health education, an on-site fitness center and group exercise classes to keep employees moving.

In 1996, ACIPCO Wellness launched the WellBody Club – a voluntary screening and health coaching program that employees can participate in while on the job. Employees are assessed and, based on health risks, placed into one of four groups with financial incentives for participation. Approximately 80 percent of employees participate in the WellBody screenings, with around 85 percent of participants falling in the two lowest-risk categories. This program was recently expanded to include health behavior goals, with successful achievement tied to a discount on health insurance premiums. More than 800 employees improved their health by reaching one or more of their stated goals in the first year alone.

ACIPCO’s health and wellness program has demonstrated a measured return on investment (ROI) of 2:1. Positive health outcomes include more than 320 employees who have quit smoking, approximately 1,200 who have begun an exercise program and more than 600 who have lowered their blood pressure to within normal limits. The diabetes education program has saved the company more than $4 million by reducing health risks and preventing complications, and the company’s physical therapy and rehabilitation services save ACIPCO approximately $175,000 annually.

In addition to measurable health improvements and strong financial bottomline results, ACIPCO’s health and productivity efforts have fostered a strong sense of loyalty from employees and contributed to a culture of shared responsibility for success.

"A psychologically healthy workplace is the result of comprehensive employee programs which provide a supportive, collaborative environment for innovation and business success. "

Craig R. Paeprer
Director of Operations
IBM Research Division