Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Recognized as an American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has been recognized as a Platinum-level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more. 
“As a health insurer, our core focus is helping all Rhode Islanders to live healthier live and we take seriously the role we play in helping our employees do the same.” said Melissa Cummings, chief customer officer, BCBSRI. “We celebrate all of the honorees and thank the American Heart Association for highlighting our efforts to improve employee wellness.  Healthy employees are a benefit that extends well beyond the workplace.”
The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce, by helping worksites prioritize employee health and well-being. BCBSRI was honored in part for increasing healthy eating options for associates through its on-site cafeteria. The cafeteria offers low fat, low sodium, and no cholesterol meals at a subsidized price every day (including a variety of whole foods plant-based options). For example, healthy soup costs $2 less than the regular soup, and free oatmeal is offered for breakfast twice a week during the winter months. Associates enjoy a wide selection of seasonal items from local farmers, from micro greens and blueberries to peanut butter. Meatless Mondays (when meat is available only upon request) draw special attention to the everyday variety of plant-based menu options.
American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year due to healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity. 
“The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers easy-to-implement ways for organizations to help employees eat better and move more, which will help improve their health – and their employer’s bottom line,” said Michelle Karn, communications director, American Heart Association Southern New England. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.” 
For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it’s helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace visit 
About Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 450,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Our mission drives everything we do. To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide public health education in a variety of ways. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit
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