General Dynamics Bath Iron Works: Employers Team Up to Prevent Diabetes

By Alexandra Luterek and Vera Oziransky

The threat that diabetes poses to the vitality of the nation’s workforce cannot be understated. The American Diabetes Association estimated that the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs, $69 billion in reduced productivity, and $5 billion in absenteeism. Currently, diabetes affects about 21 million people nationwide.

The report Beyond the Four Walls: Why Community is Critical to Workforce Health – to be released on July 28, 2015 – will reveal how employers extend workplace programs and health promotion initiatives into communities to promote health among employees, dependents, and larger social networks while ensuring business sustainability.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW), founded in 1884, is a major American ship manufacturer in Bath, Maine, and the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. The company takes a unique approach to promoting workforce health: extending their diabetes prevention program (DPP) into the community. The company not only offers the evidence-based DPP to employees, dependents, and community members – but also teams up with another major Maine employer, L.L. Bean, to synergize efforts. Both employers recognized that their employees often had spouses working for the other company, and that working together to improve health outside the workplace was a win-win opportunity.

Are you an employer that has partnered with other local businesses to improve workforce and/or community health? Share your story below or connect with us on social media @VitalityInst. We’d love to learn more about how you are linking community and workforce health promotion.

Photo credit: BIW

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