For the fifth consecutive year, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) has been awarded the American Heart Association's (AHA) top honor for employers, the Start! Fit Friendly Company Platinum Award.

Out of 2,245 applications received by the AHA from companies across the nation seeking Gold or Platinum status, BCNEPA was one of only 12 Platinum honorees selected in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The AHA's Fit Friendly program is designed to address the growing concern of physical inactivity and its health consequences. To advance this objective, the Fit Friendly program recognizes companies that are championing the health of their employees by creating a culture of "workplace wellness."

This year's Platinum designation recognizes BCNEPA for its support of employees' wellness through the encouragement of physical activity, promotion of healthy eating options, and availability of constant education and incentives around healthy lifestyle choices. BCNEPA's Blue Health Solutions wellness program was also cited as a key factor in the award decision.

"We initiated our wellness programs for the benefit of our employees, because they are the heart of our organization," said Dr. Nina Taggart, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer. "We are proud to receive this award for the fifth time, which speaks to us walking the walk when it comes to wellness and to the commitment of the company's leadership when it comes to the health of our employees."