W.R. Grace & Company has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association (AHA). The award recognizes companies that help employees eat healthier and exercise more. Less than 1 percent of U.S. work sites earn this distinction annually.

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Grace. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association,” said Pamela Wagoner, Grace’s vice president and chief human resources officer. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our company overall.”

Platinum-level employers:

  • Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace
  • Increase healthy eating options at the worksite
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the AHA in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness

Grace received the award for its facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts that has approximately 285 employees. At this location and others, Grace staffs onsite medical offices that employees visit for flu shots, physicals and other medical treatment and supplies at no cost. To help employees live with diabetes, the company offers HealthMapRx, a patient-focused program that partners each participating employee with a pharmacist “coach” that teaches them how to better manage their lifestyle to reduce health risks. Through participation, patients receive free diabetes medications and supplies through the company-sponsored medical plans.

The company also offers free onsite gyms at several offices and subsidizes exercise classes, weight management programs and healthy menu items available at onsite cafeterias. In addition, the company organizes onsite education programs on a range of healthcare topics, such as stress management, ergonomics and cancer prevention.

Through the Grace Foundation, the company matches at 100 percent funds raised by all employees in North America that are participating in healthcare-related activities for non-profit organizations. The goal is to incentivize employees to participate in runs, walks and bike rides and generate funds for worthy causes.

This award is the most recent wellness distinction for the company. Grace has also been presented with the Healthy Workplace Award from the State of Maryland’s Howard County Department of Health for well-being activities, and the Caregiver Friendly Workplace Award from Howard County’s Commission on Aging for promoting successful aging.

Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY Restaurants, Healthy Choice and AstraZeneca. For more information about the Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, visit www.startwalkingnow.org.

Founded in 1924, the AHA is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers – the AHA funds cutting-edge research, conducts lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocates to protect public health. To learn more or join the AHA in helping all Americans, call 800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.americanheart.org.

Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and specialty materials for a wide range of industrial applications; sealants and coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and residential construction. Founded in 1854, Grace has operations in over 40 countries.