December 19, 2003


DaimlerChrysler Canada and Pfizer Canada partner to help workers fight heart disease

Windsor, Ontario – DaimlerChrysler Canada and Pfizer Canada are cooperating on a program, Tune Up Your Heart, to improve the heart health of more than 7,000 Windsor-based DaimlerChrysler employees, and help reduce the economic burden of heart disease on Ontario’s health care system. This initiative is the first of its kind by a Canadian manufacturer.

Introduced in the first half of 2003, Tune Up Your Heart aims to improve cardiovascular health through a comprehensive 12-month worksite follow-up program, addressing:

  • The modification of high-risk behaviours (smoking, physical
    inactivity, unhealthy eating);

  • The reduction of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, high
    cholesterol, diabetes);

  • The empowerment of employees to take charge of their heart health;
  • The improvement of compliance to drug therapy; and,
  • The improvement of individual cardiovascular risk profiles.

This multi-partner endeavour is supported by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Green Shield Canada and Solutions in Health.

“Tune Up Your Heart is part of DaimlerChrysler Canada’s long-term commitment to enhancing our employees’ health both on and off the job,” says Rick Thrasher, Senior Manager, Benefits and Hourly Employment and Compensation. “By working together with Pfizer Canada, who is a leader in cardiovascular research, we aim to reduce the risk of heart disease for our employees and retirees and help ensure they continue to maintain active and productive lives.”

“Tune Up Your Heart is consistent with the CAW’s goal of keeping its members healthy and happy long into retirement,” says Ken Lewenza, President CAW Local 444.

Through this voluntary and confidential program, employees and retirees were offered the opportunity to have a cardiovascular disease risk profile assessment at sessions held on-site. Based on risk profile, 600 of the 1,000 initially screened employees and retirees are currently participating in a one-year follow-up plan including interventions targeted at modifying risk
factors.

In addition to being the leading cause of death of Canadians, cardiovascular disease is the third leading cause of long-term disability costs in Canada and accounts for 10 per cent of the annual value of lost productivity due to long-term disability.

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