SALISBURY, Md. – Jim Perdue, Perdue Inc. chairman, recently joined Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Maryland Health and Mental Hygiene Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips and business and community leaders from Salisbury, Md., to promote the "Healthiest Maryland" initiative to area businesses.

Launched in May, the state initiative promotes health-management practices in the workplace. Perdue Incorporated, which was among the first companies to enroll in Healthiest Maryland, said it is a leader in workplace health programs. The company has invested more than $10 million in 15 "Wellness Centers" that offer primary care to associates and family members at the workplace.

"H.I.P.," Perdue's company-wide health improvement program, focuses on creating an environment of health and helps associates manage health risks and treat controllable diseases. "The results have been very, very good," Perdue said. "Most importantly, our efforts improve the quality of life for our associates."

"Healthiest Maryland will encourage businesses and residents to focus on wellness and preventative care and create healthy work environments that ensure that the healthiest choice is the easiest choice," said Lt. Governor Brown in a press release. "With the dedication and assistance of their employers, Marylanders will gain the tools and guidance necessary to adopt healthy lifestyles for themselves and their families."

Mr. Perdue and the Lt. Governor recently met with more than 15 lower Eastern Shore businesses at a breakfast and roundtable discussion at Salisbury University regarding the Healthiest Maryland initiative. Some of Maryland's largest employers – including the University of Maryland Medical System, PNC Bank, Johns Hopkins University and Perdue Incorporated, as well as the State of Maryland – have already enrolled in Healthiest Maryland and declared their commitment to implement policies and practices that promote prevention and wellness, according to the Lt. Governor's office.

Participating employers commit to making the health of their employees a top priority by increasing access to preventative services, expanding healthy food and beverage choices and promoting other workplace wellness program.

"At Perdue, we've found that our associate health-improvement programs have yielded measurable benefits for both our associates and our company," Mr. Perdue told business and community leaders. "I encourage business leaders to join me in committing to the Healthiest Maryland initiative and promoting wellness in the workplace."