LEHIGH VALLEY, PA. Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — BeneFITSM, Valley Preferred’s custom suite of corporate health education and wellness programs, now offers the award-winning BeneFIT Toolkit  designed to guide employers in developing, implementing, evaluating and sustaining their company’s wellness programs.

The American Public Health Association (APHA), the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world, selected the BeneFIT Toolkit as a category winner in its national 2011 Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) Materials Competition. “We received many ‘toolkits’ this year but the judges were very impressed and selected this as a winner out of many strong entries,” says Stephanie Parsons, CHES, CPST, John Hopkins School of Public Health and PHEHP Materials Contest Coordinator.

The BeneFIT Toolkit is a user-friendly, step-by-step guide to creating worksite wellness programs that yield long-term benefits. Developed by BeneFIT’s Certified Health Education Specialist, Carol Noel Michaels, MPH, MCHES, the Toolkit, which includes consultation services, educates and guides company leaders in their efforts to implement worksite wellness programs.

Numerous employers already turn to BeneFIT to develop and provide wellness solutions customized to the unique needs and culture of their company.

Amidst rising health care costs, more employers are pursuing short-term financial solutions to a long-term wellness problem. Michaels, who is also the manager of Health Education and Wellness at Valley Preferred and the strategic leader of the BeneFIT team, believes that the BeneFIT Toolkit equips employers with the means to create “a well-executed plan” to reach company wellness goals.  For most companies, these goals include achieving overall improved employee health, a healthier workforce and the related long-term financial benefits of a  healthier culture at the worksite.

“The BeneFIT Toolkit is there to help employers go through the process in a clear and systematic way,” says Michaels. “It is like having a wellness consultant in-house without the bigger investment of hiring full- or part-time employees.”

Michaels believes one of the BeneFIT Toolkit’s more attractive attributes is its usability. It includes a variety of self-assessment pages, sample case studies, and templates that assist the user in launching their wellness program. These materials enable employers to utilize the Toolkit for multiple wellness initiatives, allowing them to address all of their corporate wellness needs. The BeneFIT Toolkit also includes a CD-ROM containing digital copies of the essential Toolkit materials, allowing users to upload documents to their respective intranet sites, add corporate logos, and modifications to best suit their needs.

For more information regarding BeneFIT Corporate Wellness, the BeneFIT Toolkit or BeneFIT services, click here.

Kevin Shoemaker, Research Scholar, is a senior at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and was essential in the development of the BeneFIT Toolkit marketing campaign.

Carol Noel Michaels, MPH, MCHES, Manager of Health Education and Wellness, Valley Preferred–BeneFIT, is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.