Get Healthy Now director Patricia Benson accepted the Business First award at a Nov. 18 luncheon at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

The luncheon, said Business First publisher Tom Monahan, not only paid tribute to the 15 award finalists (three in each of five categories by business size), but it also was a way to help employers learn from each other how to create healthy workplaces.

As he presented the awards, he asked each employer’s representative a question related to an aspect of his or her company’s program.

Noting that UofL’s five-year-old Get Healthy Now program has a 70 percent participation rate among faculty and staff and that the number of insurance claims among participants is significantly lower than that among non-participants, Monahan asked Benson to explain the program’s success.

Get Healthy Now is successful, she said, because of the support it has received since its beginning from President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz. She also explained that Get Healthy Now’s staff continually solicits feedback from its members on program components and works to tailor the program to their needs and wants.

It’s the employees’ program, she said.

Business First started the Healthiest Employer award this year and asked companies to complete a 75-question survey designed to measure six core areas of wellness:

  • cultural and leadership commitment;
  • foundation components;
  • strategic planning;
  • communications and marketing;
  • programming and intervention;
  • and reporting and analysis.

Healthiest Employer LLC, in Indianapolis, developed the survey and scored the Louisville ones to determine the winners.

Each of the finalists is featured in the publication Healthiest Employers of Greater Louisville that will be part of the Nov. 19 Business First paper.

Besides UofL, the other two finalists in the 5,000-plus employees category were GE Appliances and Lighting and Norton Healthcare Inc.