CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) announced today that the State of Illinois has earned the Making a Difference Gold level Aetna Workplace Well-being Award for the Department’s commitment to improving the health and wellness of State employees. CMS administers employee benefits to more than 450,000 group insurance members and their dependents throughout the State’s agencies, universities and retirement systems and recently implemented a more comprehensive wellness strategy for plan members.

“CMS is proud to be recognized for our commitment to building healthier workplaces to improve the well-being of our employees and their families,” said CMS Director Janel L. Forde. “Healthier employees live longer and lead more active lives, inside and outside the workplace, and we’re continuing to develop new resources and build partnerships to support employees on their wellness journeys.”

CMS is one of 65 organizations across the nation recognized for creating a healthier workplace and one of only 19 Gold level winners, the highest honor.

“Our priority is to make wellness opportunities accessible to every State of Illinois employee,” said Deputy Director Shiloah Tubbs, CMS Bureau of Benefits. “We are proud to work with committed partners like Aetna as we develop new and innovative ways to build a healthier workforce.”

CMS’ comprehensive workplace wellness program focuses on creating and maintaining an active lifestyle, mental health awareness and treatment, as well as group and individual exercise programs. These benefits, in addition to primary care visits, health screenings, immunizations and much more, are offered at no-cost to the employee.

The State’s well-being program was honored based upon superior performance in the following areas:

Robust employee communication and informational resources – CMS has established a recognizable brand for the wellness program and detailed health resources are distributed across various channels.
Full support from CMS executive leadership –Director Forde and other executive leadership throughout the State have committed to providing wellness opportunities for their employees.
Implementation of the Higi smart health stations – Illinois is the first state in the nation to install a Higi in a state building, state correctional facility, university buildings, and more. Higi machines are smart health stations, that allow employees to privately, conveniently and regularly check the kinds of vital signs doctors use to monitor patient health, such as weight, body mass index (BMI), pulse, and blood pressure. There are 77 of 100 currently installed throughout the State. Installation of the remaining Higi smart health stations will resume as soon as we return to normal business operations following restrictions in place for COVID-19.
Employee engagement and events - Statewide Wellness Fairs – CMS co-sponsored a 3-day, 3-city in-person Wellness Fair Series (pre-COVID).
Active CMS wellness champions – Wellness champions work collaboratively with Aetna to accomplish defined goals and objectives to support the wellness mission and meet 10 times or more each year.

“Congratulations to the State of Illinois,” says Jim Boyman, Market President, Heartland. “This recognition shows both their wellness program’s positive impact on employees and employees’ willingness to take advantage of these offerings and take charge of their health. We are proud to be partnered with both CMS and the State of Illinois.”

The Workplace Well-being award was established in 2017 and recognizes middle market, public and labor employers throughout the US who offer an Aetna medical plan to employees. 2020 is the first time Public and Labor groups were eligible for the award. Award recipients are selected based on information on their well-being strategy and design, communications and organizational engagement, and program implementation and evaluation.

The Gold level, the award’s highest honor, is awarded to employers who successfully create, provide, and support a healthier workplace for employees with effective programming, tools, and resources to help everyone on their own personal well-being journey.

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