February 4, 2005
CONTACT: Suzanna Cisneros Martinez, suzanna.martinez@ttuhsc.edu

LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S., presented the Silver Well Workplace Award to participants in the Prevention WORKS employee wellness program at American State Bank today (Feb.7).

Wilson, presenting the award on behalf of Wellness Councils of America, recognized American State Bank as a leader in the business community in its efforts to impact the health of ASB employees, as well as setting an example for other local and regional businesses to be a proactive partner for a healthier Lubbock.

Wilson launched the “Healthy Lubbock” initiative in 2003, a community-wide collaborative effort to address the developing health crisis of obesity. “Health problems associated with being overweight, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, are contributing to higher medical costs, a loss of workforce productivity and a diminishing quality of life,” Wilson said. “With the strong support and success of community partners like American State Bank, we can reach our goal of making Lubbock the healthiest city in Texas.”

American State Bank three years ago began a proactive strategy to assist in controlling health care costs and to provide a healthier work culture. The effort has paid off in both wellness results and in fostering a spirit of camaraderie among participating employees. Some examples of improvements in employee health over the past three years include:

• In 2002, 54 percent of participants had an elevated blood pressure reading; in 2004, that number dropped to 16 percent.
• In 2002, 25 percent of employees reported they exercised regularly, and now 62 percent report they exercise regularly.
• More than 25 employees have lost at least 20 pounds.

“By developing and implementing our wellness program over these past three years, we have strengthened our relationship with our employees and have created a more positive environment for everyone here at American State Bank,” said W.R. Collier, ASB president and board chairman.

Of the 64 companies winning Wellness Councils of America in 2004, American State Bank is one of only two in Texas.

“American State Bank has made a strong commitment to the health and well-being of its employees,” said David Hunnicutt, president of the Wellness Councils of America. “In this undertaking, ASB has created a work environment that is second to none in terms of morale, productivity and health.”

American State Bank hopes to encourage more of its 600-plus employees across West Texas to participate in the wellness program, as well as challenge other business in the area to begin health initiatives in the workplace.