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September 9, 2009Press Release

Michael Best Joins Virgin Healthmiles and the Stop Obesity Alliance to Promote Healthier Workplaces as Part of National Employee Wellness Month

Leading Corporations Across America Join Together to Spotlight Value of Increased Physical Activity in Managing Healthcare Costs and Increasing Employee Productivity

Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP today announced it is participating in the first annual National Employee Wellness Month, a month-long initiative to help raise awareness about the benefits of workplace wellness and educate business leaders and employees about steps they can take to create healthier and more physically active workplace communities. In total, more than 60 companies across the United States and more than 13,000 of their employees are participating in this important workplace wellness initiative. Michael Best is the only Milwaukee law firm to participate in the initiative.

National Employee Wellness Month is sponsored by Virgin HealthMiles, a leading provider of health and productivity programs, in partnership with the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance.

As healthcare reform is taking shape, forward-looking employers have recognized the role the private sector can - and must - play in encouraging greater physical activity and more healthful choices on the part of employees. Increased physical activity has been proven to help prevent the onset of obesity and related chronic diseases that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), account for 75 percent, or $1.5 trillion, of our nation’s healthcare costs.

Michael Best is dedicated to the health and wellness of all its employees. To that end, the firm offers a comprehensive wellness program for all those who participate in the firm’s insurance program. The wellness program includes a health screening and personal health risk assessment and professional consultation. Discounted memberships to health and fitness clubs are also available. In many of the offices, vending machines are equipped with healthy snacks and those in the Milwaukee office also have the option of participating in the Dinner By Design program where employees may pre-order healthy and delicious frozen meals each month and get them delivered to the firm on the third Thursday of each month.


Other wellness plan offerings include: Health insurance plan also includes free 24-hour nurse line assistance, Free annual flu shots, Free access to “Patient Care” health advocacy program for assistance with claims resolution, Patient Care’s “Call First” program for reliable cost and quality information on providers and procedures and Free Lunch & Learn programs on a variety of health and wellness topics.

The workplace has the potential to serve as a critical “community” for helping employees become more physically active. Promoting employee health is an investment not only in human capital, but in preserving the bottom line. Healthcare costs continue to rise eight percent year over year, and according to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, employers are absorbing 70-80 percent of this increase in costs.

According to the STOP Obesity Alliance, the workplace is one important environment that could be better leveraged to fight obesity. In fact, a 2008 survey by the STOP Obesity Alliance and the National Opinion Research Center found that employers and employees agree that the workplace is an appropriate environment for supporting weight loss efforts and helping curb the toll of preventable chronic diseases.

About National Employee Wellness Month

National Employee Wellness Month is an annual initiative held in September that highlights the importance of creating healthier and more physically active communities in the workplace, and the critical role a proactive approach towards wellness plays in reducing national healthcare costs. This initiative provides a vehicle for educating both employers and employees about the benefits of preventative health within the workplace, and is a rallying call in support of increased wellness awareness. For more information about National Employee Wellness Month, visit www.nationalemployeewellnessmonth.com.

About Virgin HealthMiles and the STOP Obesity Alliance

Virgin HealthMiles (www.virginhealthmiles.com) is an industry leading provider of employee health and activity programs that pay people to get active. Its award-winning, Pay-for-Prevention™ approach, based on physical activity and healthy lifestyle change, attracts an average of 40% of employees who participate in the program regularly, which helps organizations reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction.

The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance (www.stopobesityalliance.org) is a collaboration of consumer, provider, government, labor, business, health insurers and quality-of-care organizations united to drive innovative and practical strategies that combat obesity. The Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance receives funding from its sponsors, sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC., founding sponsor, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., supporting sponsor.

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