Southcoast Health awarded American Heart Association Gold for workplace health

Pictured left to right, back row is: Barb Schmidt, Teri Kinder (Southcoast Health Employee Health Manager), Lauren DeSimon (Southcoast Health Chief Human Resource Officer), and Victoria Strang (AHA Southern New England Chapter Community Impact Director). In the front row is Beth Barker (Southcoast Health VP HR Services), Tara Comer (AHA Executive Director for Southern New England Chapter), Kris, and Debra Honor (AHA Southern New England Chapter Heart Walk Director).

Health System’s employees reach highest recognition level for third straight year .

The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index has awarded Gold to Southcoast Health for building a culture of wellness within the organization. It is the third consecutive year in which Southcoast has earned the highest level of recognition for employers.

“We are honored to be recognized as a Gold Level recipient for the third year in a row,” said Southcoast Health President and CEO Keith Hovan. “This achievement reflects our commitment to employee health and wellbeing, as well as the dedication of our staff to participating actively in our wellness programs. With our system’s emphasis on preventative care and addressing social influencers of health in the region, I commend the Southcoast community – more than 7,500 employees strong – for setting a positive example.”

Lauren De Simon Johnson, Southcoast Health Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, agreed.

“The Gold Level designation is a very special acknowledgment of the amazing work we have all done together to ensure that workplace health is front and center at Southcoast,” she said. “This is a fantastic way for us to come together and celebrate National Heart Month.”

The American Heart Association has defined best practices for employers to use to build a culture of health for their employees in the workplace. The Workplace Health Achievement Index measures the extent to which a company has implemented those workplace health best practices.

The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index assessment is grounded in data-driven science and a quality improvement framework. Companies recognized at the Gold level have achieved an Index score of 175 to 217 out of a maximum 217 points. The Index scores organizations on 55 individual best practices in seven categories: leadership, engagement, programs, policies and environment, partnerships, communications and reporting outcomes.

The framework of the Workplace Health Achievement Index was built so that organizations would continue to strive to improve the health of their workplace and their workforce from one year to the next. Kris Aimone, Southcoast Health Wellbeing Program Manager, cited the hard work and effectiveness of Southcoast Health’s Wellbeing Committee and the support the group receives from leadership for the continued success.

“We are extremely proud of this designation and will continue to support our employees in their wellbeing journeys,” Aimone said. “It’s inspiring to see co-workers and colleagues from across the entire system take charge of their personal health by taking part in this great program.”

The Workplace Health Achievement Index was called for and tested by the AHA’s CEO Roundtable to provide employers with best practices to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of workplace health programs. The CEO Roundtable companies have served as a learning laboratory environment to develop, test and refine the Workplace Health Achievement Index and additional resources for practical use.

More information on the American Heart Association Workplace Health Achievement Index can be found at