Fred Hutch, SCCA receive CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation for their ongoing commitment to employee health

Recognition of employers' efforts to reduce chronic disease risk in workforce

For the sixth consecutive year, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its cancer care partner, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, each have earned CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation in recognition of their commitment to employee health.

The accreditation calls for companies to take concrete steps in the following five key areas to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic disease in their workforces:

  • Prevention
  • Screening
  • Cancer clinical trials
  • Quality treatment and survivorship
  • Health education and health promotion
Kara Breymeyer speaks as she holds pomegranate halves in front of a countertop with other ingredients and cooking tools.
Kara Breymeyer, administrative manager of the Hutch's Human Nutrition Laboratory, gives a cooking demonstration as part of the annual Healthy Challenge, a popular health and wellness initiative for Hutch and SCCA employees. Fred Hutch file

All of the requirements of the CEO Gold Standard are based on scientific evidence, and the program is carefully reviewed annually to ensure that it remains comprehensive and up to date.

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer Inc., a nonprofit organization of leading CEOs representing diverse industries, was founded in 2001 when President George H.W. Bush challenged a group of executives to “do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families.” The CEOs responded to the president’s challenge by creating and encouraging the widespread adoption of the CEO Cancer Gold Standard, which has been adopted by nearly 200 U.S. employers. There are no membership costs or fees associated with being a Gold Standard employer.

In nominating the Hutch and SCCA for accreditation, benefits compensation manager Jonathan Sheppard said the commitment of both institutions to eliminating cancer doesn’t end in the laboratory or the clinic. “It extends to our culture as a workplace,” he said. “We actively encourage and empower employees and their family members in a myriad of ways to make healthy choices that reduce cancer risk, and we provide outstanding health insurance benefits.”

Among the attributes that make the Hutch a Gold Standard employer are its tobacco-free environment and its industry-leading tobacco-cessation program. Based on research showing that positive incentives are most successful, the Hutch implemented a cash-incentive plan for employees who enroll in a tobacco-cessation program and stay quit.

Other perks that make the Hutch and SCCA Gold Standard employers include:

An on-site employee health clinic. Slated to open this summer, The Health Clinic, operated by Premise Health, the nation’s leading manager of on-site health clinics, will be available for all employees who are enrolled in a Fred Hutch- or SCCA-sponsored medical plan. The clinic will provide, at no cost, a wide array of high-quality primary care and preventive services, wellness coaching and physical therapy.

A popular health and wellness program. Our Healthy Challenge attracts Hutch and SCCA employees each year to challenge themselves to develop better nutrition and exercise habits, and other healthy behaviors. Now in its 15th year, the Healthy Challenge also includes educational seminars and prize incentives to keep participants engaged.

A robust bike commuter-support program. Bus/transit subsidies, free shower and towel service, locked bike cages and on-site bike repair and maintenance facilities are available for regular bike commuters – more than 730 from the Hutch (over 25 percent) and more than 160 from SCCA (about 10 percent).

Excellent health insurance benefits. The Hutch and SCCA’s health benefits provide coverage for the highest quality cancer screening and treatment services, including clinical trials at SCCA, whose cancer survival rates are among the highest in the nation.

On-site cancer screening facilities. Mammography/breast imaging and colonoscopy screening are made easily available in the SCCA outpatient clinic on the Fred Hutch campus.

Other CEO Cancer Gold Standard-accredited organizations in the U.S. include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kristen Woodward, a former associate editor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, had been in communications at Fred Hutch for more than 20 years. Before that, she was a managing editor at the University of Michigan Health System and a reporter/editor at The Holland Sentinel, a daily in western Michigan. She has received many national awards for health and science writing. She received her B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University. 

Read more about Fred Hutch achievements and accolades.

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