Press releases

December 22, 2015

Sun Life Financial and the American Diabetes Association® Team Up to Encourage Wellness in the Workplace

SLPC 26885 12/15 (Exp. 12/20)

Leading employee benefits carrier supports the Association’s Wellness Lives HereSM initiative; brings focus to the important role of employers in inspiring more active and healthy lifestyles

Alexandria, VA and Wellesley, MA (December 22, 2015) – As part of its ongoing commitment to diabetes prevention, the U.S. business group of Sun Life Financial today announced its comprehensive support of the American Diabetes Association’s (“the Association’s”) Wellness Lives Here initiative. The program focuses on employee and community wellness by working with employers to inspire and fuel healthful habits at work.

As the exclusive national sponsor* of Wellness Lives Here, Sun Life will further help employers make a positive impact on the overall wellbeing of their employees and encourage them to take specific actions in preventing and controlling diabetes. Sponsoring the Association’s commitment to wellness in the workplace is a natural fit with Sun Life’s U.S. business, which helps employers offer comprehensive benefits packages that holistically address employees’ physical, mental, and financial health, as well as company productivity.

At the centerpiece of the Wellness Lives Here initiative is the Health Champions Designation program, which recognizes companies that have implemented an organizational culture of wellness, encompassing healthy eating and physical activity. More than 150 companies and organizations received a Health Champion Designation in 2015. Together, Sun Life and the Association look forward to encouraging these Health Champions to share stories of how their wellness efforts have brought about meaningful change and to encourage more companies to embrace the tenets of the program and apply for a designation in 2016.

With a focus on 365 Days of Wellness, the Wellness Lives Here initiative also provides healthy living resources and research-based tools to support corporate wellness efforts and includes physical activity events like the Tour De Cure cycling events and actionable engagement days, such as American Diabetes Association Alert Day (March 22), National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day (May 4), and National Healthy Lunch Day (November 17). For more information about Wellness Lives Here and applying for a Health Champion Designation, visit www.diabetes.org/wellnessliveshere.

People who make nutritious food choices, are physically active, and control or lose weight can significantly lower their risk for Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. According to the recently released annual statistics from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of U.S. adults with newly diagnosed diabetes decreased from 1.7 million in 2009 to 1.4 million in 2014.1 While this is encouraging news, 22 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with diabetes2 and require support to manage the disease and prevent related complications.

“We work with companies across the country on their employee benefits plans and know that they have a vested interest in keeping their employees healthy. When employers take steps to help their workers adopt healthy habits and reduce the impact of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, it’s good for business, good for employees and good for the greater community,” said Dan Fishbein, MD, President, Sun Life Financial U.S. “Teaming up with the American Diabetes Association to engage employers on workplace health and wellness is a natural extension of our comprehensive diabetes philanthropy program, and an effort that we hope will help continue the diabetes decline.”

“It’s the small, everyday decisions people make that add up to a healthier lifestyle – programs such as the Association’s Wellness Lives Here initiative with Sun Life Financial allow people to incorporate wellness into their daily lives, starting in the workplace,” said Maggie Powers, PhD, RD, CDE, President-Elect, Health Care and Education, American Diabetes Association. “Lasting healthy lifestyle choices start with small steps. Those small steps add up and can lead to lasting, positive change and wellness.”

Sun Life is an involved supporter of diabetes prevention efforts worldwide and has previously worked with the American Diabetes Association on a series of events and programs. To date, Sun Life has donated nearly $600,000 to programs focused on diabetes prevention in the U.S. and over $13 million to the diabetes cause globally. As a proud Health Champion itself, Sun Life is also committed to supporting its employees in learning about, achieving, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and offers dozens of services and programs internally throughout the year that help employees achieve their goals. To learn more about diabetes and how Sun Life is fighting the disease, visit www.sunlife.com/usdiabetes.

About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About Sun Life Financial
Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. The Sun Life Financial group of companies operates under the “Sun Life Financial” name strictly as a marketing name and no legal significance is expressed or implied. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including Group and Voluntary Accident, Critical Illness, Dental, Disability, Life, and Stop-Loss insurance products. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. For more information, visit www.sunlife.com/us.

Media contacts:

Devon Portney Fernald
Sun Life Financial
781-416-7151
devon.portney.fernald@sunlife.com

Samantha Boyd
American Diabetes Association
703-549-1500 ext. 2139
sboyd@diabetes.org

*Sun Life Financial is the National Sponsor of the Association’s Wellness Lives Here initiative, with exclusivity in the national corporate group benefits industry category.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Interview Statistics, data from the National Health Interview Survey. Data computed by personnel in the Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/incidence/fig1.htm

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Interview Statistics, data from the National Health Interview Survey. Statistical analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/national/figpersons.htm