Hawai‘i Health at Work Alliance and UHA Health Insurance Launch Free Online Wellness Initiative as Roadmap for Local Companies

Honolulu, HI (April 26, 2016) – Hawai‘i Health at Work Alliance ([email protected]) and UHA Health Insurance (UHA) have launched a new online initiative designed to inspire and support local businesses that want to encourage healthier employee lifestyles through workplace wellness.

HHAWA.com is being launched as the first step to creating an online community to help local organizations engage with each other and provide a free roadmap of resources and tools that can help them reach their wellness objectives.

The initiative is envisioned as a comprehensive local online forum for workplace wellness resources, toolkits, ideas for maximum impact, health news and company success stories – for organizations that may not even have a tailored program and for those that are seeking to expand existing ones. Toolkits include an array of documents, activity suggestions and even signage to help jumpstart or maximize the impact of budding or existing company wellness programs.

HHAWA.com will eventually be a repository for local resource data on wellness and will host forums of local companies to share information to help educate and engage their employees in their own health.

There is a growing body of research that supports the idea that healthier employees are happier – and happier employees are good for a company’s bottom line. As Fortune magazine reported in October 2015, the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy conducted an experiment with 700 people in Britain and found that happier employees are truly more productive. And as published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a 2013 study found that investing in employees’ health increased productivity.

“We believe that wellness initiatives must be implemented by any organization as a day-to-day practice to engage their most critical assets: the people who work there,” said Howard Lee, CEO of UHA. “These new online tools help employers get beyond theory; local businesses finally have a tangible roadmap at the ready to implement wellness solutions that encourage positive lifestyle changes among their staff.”

[email protected] (Hawaii Health at Work Alliance)

In mid-2013, UHA started [email protected], a first-of-its-kind organization and grass-roots movement of businesses of all sizes that are dedicated to workplace wellness. The collaborative partnership seeks to create and improve employee well-being, viewed as a critical component of company success. In less than three years, [email protected] has grown to nearly 250 organizations statewide that are committed to learning how to build effective worksite wellness programs and methods that lead to sustainable lifestyle changes for employees. [email protected] provides a framework where organizations across a wide range of industries can learn from each other’s efforts to institute effective wellness programs that will engage their employees.



Wellness Advisory Council

UHA also formed the Wellness Advisory Council of corporate and community leaders, which is overseeing the online initiative.

This council works in partnership with [email protected] and local businesses that understand the impact that workplace wellness strategies have on encouraging healthy employee habits. In what may be a first for the nation, the Wellness Advisory Council gathers statewide leaders who believe that a healthier workforce makes a stronger Hawai‘i.

Wellness Advisory Council members include:

  • Julie Arigo, general manager, Waikiki Parc Hotel
  • Ann Botticelli, senior vice president, communication & public affairs, Hawaiian Airlines
  • Susan Eichor, president & chief operating officer, aio LLC
  • Art Gladstone, chief executive officer, Pali Momi Medical Center and Straub Clinic & Hospital
  • Lola H. Irvin, administrator, Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion/Healthy Hawaii Initiative
  • Terri Min, human resources director, ABC Stores
  • Mark Nishiyama, co-founder, Kama‘aina Kids
  • Richard Parry, president and chief executive officer, Aloha Petroleum
  • Ron Toyofuku, chairman, Royal State Insurance
  • Shelley Wilson, founder, Wilson Homecare
  • En Young, executive director, The Food Basket

The Wellness Advisory Council has been convening to devise strategies to help local companies implement innovative ways to help their employees embrace healthy lifestyles because healthier employees create healthier communities.

“The most important benefit of our company wellness program has been the improvement that we have seen in our employees’ well-being and quality of life as their health has improved,” explains Mark Nishiyama. “We’ve had numerous employee success stories, including a longtime Kama‘aina Kids site coordinator who lost 90 pounds and has made fitness a part of her routine.”

For more information on [email protected], visit hhawa.com.

[email protected] Advisory Council, L to R:

  • Lola H. Irvin, En Young Shelley Wilson, Mark Nishiyama, Richard Parry, Art Gladstone, Ann Botticelli

    Not Pictured:
  • Julie Arigo, general manager, Waikiki Parc Hotel
  • Ron Toyofuku, chairman, Royal State Insurance
  • Terri Min, human resources director, ABC Stores
  • Susan Eichor, president and chief operating officer, AIO LLC

About UHA Health Insurance (University Health Alliance)
UHA was founded as University Health Alliance in 1996 by a group of physician faculty at University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine. UHA provides medical, drug and vision plans to more than 4,700 Hawai‘i employer groups and over 56,000 members. As the only health plan in Hawai‘i founded by physicians, it was the first to offer preventive and wellness care focused health plans in the state, and now offers the largest physician and provider network in Hawai‘i. By meeting strict quality standards to ensure clinically sound decision-making that respects the rights of patients and medical providers, UHA received accreditation in Health Utilization Management through URAC, the independent non-profit that promotes healthcare quality. For information, visit uhahealth.com or follow @uhahealth on Twitter.