NEWS RELEASE - San Diego Unified School District recognized by American Heart Association for workplace health achievement

Posted: Friday, September 15th 2017

The 2017 results of the American Heart Association Workplace Health Achievement Index were announced earlier this week and San Diego Unified School District achieved Silver level recognition for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace. 

In 2016, San Diego Unified launched its District Wellness Initiative to support the health & well-being of both students and district staff. It established a District Wellness Council that facilitated multiple community partnerships in support of staff wellness and coordinated wellness activities for staff including healthy cooking and fitness classes, biometric health screenings, and wellness workshops. School psychologists and nurses also coordinated professional development for staff on mindfulness and social emotional well-being.

In addition, more than 175 school sites identified a School Site Wellness Coordinator or committee and identified one student and one staff wellness project to implement during the school year. 

The American Heart Association created the Index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 30 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health. The Index uses science-based best practices to evaluate the overall quality and comprehensiveness of their workplace health programs. A unique feature of the Index is that it calculates an average heart health score for employees of participating companies that securely submit aggregate health data.

More than 800 companies completed the Index assessment this year and, of those companies, 67 percent received either Gold, Silver, or Bronze recognition. Companies receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement so that they can advance their annual performance and recognition.

“San Diego Unified is committed to providing an environment where all members of its school communities are supported in making healthy choices for lifelong wellness,” said San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten. “Personal fitness and wellness are important components of every student’s education in San Diego Unified, as research indicates that students who eat healthy and are active achieve more. The same idea applies to employees. We are honored to receive this recognition for our efforts and will continue to make health and wellness a key priority across the district.” 

The Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index allows companies to measure the effectiveness of their workplace health programs, as well as the overall heart health of their employees. Unlike other existing organizational scorecards, the Index also scores companies on the heart health of their employees based on Life’s Simple 7® – the Association’s scientifically validated definition of ideal heart health. The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index assessment is grounded in data-driven science, and a quality improvement framework. According to the Nielsen 2016 Employee Health Survey, robust and comprehensive strategies for well-being are associated with positive impacts on employees’ health.


About the American Heart Association 

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke – the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at

For Media Inquiries: Maureen Magee, San Diego Unified Communications, 



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