SHEBOYGAN FALLS, WIS. — While many meat and poultry processors nervously await the outcome of the ongoing health care debate in Washington, one processor has taken a proactive step forward to promote health among its employees.

Johnsonville Sausage and corporate wellness program provider EngagementHealth announced on Dec. 8 the launch of comprehensive disease prevention and health promotion programs designed to help Johnsonville's employees get and remain healthy.

Johnsonville’s employees and their spouses have been invited to participate in a variety of wellness programs, including a biometric screening, weight challenge, smoking cessation, stress management, fitness challenge, and blood pressure management among others. Officially kicking off on Jan. 1, 2010, the company said 86% of Johnsonville employees and spouses have elected to participate in the EngagementHealth program.

"Johnsonville is committed to the health and well-being of our members [employees] and spouses," said Julie Herschleb, director of health and wellness for Johnsonville. "Health and wellness has been a focus for our company for many years, and we are excited to take this next step in providing members and spouses with tools to help them reach and maintain their wellness goals."

Johnsonville Sausage also has an on-site, complimentary fitness facility for members and spouses at its global headquarters; two free wellness clinics minutes from the company's work sites; fitness reimbursement programs; interest-free loans for fitness equipment purchases; and more, Ms. Herschleb added. The company has been recognized as a wellness leader among businesses in Southeast Wisconsin and is pleased to be continuing its efforts to provide members with a variety of opportunities to get — and stay — healthy.

Company employees and spouses will monitor their program progress through regular check-ins with health counselors, as well as through individualized online accounts. Members and spouses who participate in EngagementHealth programs will also earn discounts of up to $575 per person on their annual health care premium costs.